While acknowledging the fine job the Cuban defector was doing at Triple-A Charlotte, White Sox GM Ken Williams said there isn’t currently any place for him on the major league roster.
Manager Ozzie Guillen insisted last week that Juan Pierre was his left fielder and leadoff hitter for as long as he’s on the team, so Williams doesn’t see that there’s any way Viciedo could fit right now, even though Viciedo has hit .330/.372/.538 with 11 homers and 49 RBI in 66 games while playing mostly right field for Charlotte.
As Williams told the Chicago Tribune:
I admire the focus, hard work and the thought that he knows he’s put himself in a position to where he’s ready and going to be a major contributor, but also in keeping his focus at the job at hand, and keeping his head and (rear) in Charlotte versus having his head in Chicago. And that’s not easy to do all the time. I admire him for that. But right now we’re going to hold tight. Ozzie likes the team that he’s running out there every day.
Even though that team features a leadoff hitter with a .257/.319/.300 line and nine caught stealings in 19 attempts.
There is a potential solution for Williams: he could just release Pierre to make room for Viciedo in left field. But he’s not ready to take that step yet.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East
Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams. The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.
Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.