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.
The World Series champion Red Sox are scheduled to visit President Trump in the White House on February 15. Some have speculated that manager Álex Cora, who is from Puerto Rico and has been critical of Trump and has been a big factor in Hurricane Maria relief efforts, might not go as a form of protest. Thus far, nothing concrete has been reported on that front.
However, third baseman Rafael Devers says he isn’t going to join the Red Sox on their visit to the White House, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. Devers would prefer to focus on baseball, as the Red Sox open spring training on February 13 and position players have to report on February 17. Per Chris Mason, Devers also said via a translator, “The opportunity was presented and I just wasn’t compelled to go.”
Devers hails from the Dominican Republic and he, like many of Major League Baseball’s foreign-born player base, might not be happy about Trump’s immigration policies. Understandably, he is being tight-lipped about his motivation, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Devers is making a silent protest by choosing not to attend. He is thus far the only member of the team to bow out.
Devers, 22, hit .240/.298/.433 with 21 home runs, 66 RBI, and 59 runs scored in 490 plate appearances last season.
Last year, when the Astros visited Trump at the White House, they did so without Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltrán. Both are from Puerto Rico. It is certainly not unprecedented for individual players to opt out of the White House visit.
No word yet on what food will be served during Boston’s trip to the nation’s capital, but the smart money is on hamberders.