Between re-signing first baseman Paul Konerko to a three-year, $37.5 million deal and seemingly clearing the way for rookie Brent Morel to take over as the everyday third baseman the White Sox pushed prospect Dayan Viciedo out of the infield picture, but now Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that they’re giving him a look in the outfield.
Viciedo played right field yesterday and made a pair of nice plays, drawing praise from manager Ozzie Guillen. Viciedo has played exclusively first base and third base since signing with the White Sox for $10 million in 2008, but Gonzales notes that he saw some outfield action in Cuba before defecting.
Viciedo is listed at 5-foot-11 and 240 pounds, and many people were skeptical about his ability to show the range needed at third base, so counting on him to track down fly balls in an outfield corner is hardly a guarantee. Still, if he can be a passable defender while developing some much-needed plate discipline offensively the White Sox could step up their efforts to trade Carlos Quentin knowing they have the 22-year-old Viciedo waiting in the wings.
When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.
The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.
Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.
Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.
The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.
Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.
Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:
Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.