2012 will be an important year for Dayan Viciedo.
According to the White Sox’ official Twitter feed, general manager Kenny Williams said Saturday that the 22-year-old Cuban is “the favorite to start in right field” in the wake of the Carlos Quentin trade.
Viciedo struggled in the big leagues last year, posting a weak .255/.327/.314 batting line in 113 plate appearances. But he has a .284/.332/.453 career slash line in the minors and has slugged 20 home runs in each of the past two seasons at Triple-A Charlotte. His bat is major league-ready, and his defensive abilities — while limited — can’t be that much worse than Quentin’s. The newest Padre rates as an extremely poor outfielder by just about any measure.
Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”
Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.
Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.