Last week pitching coach Don Cooper hung up on a radio interviewer who asked him why the White Sox hadn’t called up Dayan Viciedo and yesterday manager Ozzie Guillen said he doesn’t see a need to promote the prospect from Triple-A yet.
Here’s what Guillen told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune:
Are people in Chicago getting tired about talking about Viciedo? We are going to keep this recording about Viciedo for people in Chicago because sooner or later, they are going to hate Viciedo–at least for a week and talk about how bad Viciedo is and how crazy we are to bring this guy from Cuba.
But I want to make it clear about those people who want Viciedo here, I want Viciedo here. But the thing is where do I play him? I wish I could play 10 players like a softball game, play him in the middle of the field, and then we bring him.
Guillen has a point in that, yes Viciedo’s numbers at Triple-A look awfully good when the White Sox’s outfielders are struggling, but he’s also a 22-year-old with more than twice as many strikeouts (70) as walks (31) in 96 games at Triple-A. Viciedo projects to be a solid player, but he’s far from a sure-fire star and the buildup is creating big expectations for a hitter with some potentially serious flaws.
On the other hand, benching Juan Pierre and calling up Viciedo would be an easy way for the White Sox to boost the lineup, but Guillen has made it very clear that he’s sticking with Pierre despite a terrible .661 OPS and league-leading 11 caught stealings. If the manager is unwilling to bench one of the least valuable players in the league then there’s truly no spot for Viciedo, but White Sox fans questioning his loyalty to Pierre as it relates to Viciedo’s arrival is perfectly legitimate.