Dayan Viciedo is back in the White Sox lineup Friday night after 16 plate appearances in a minor-league rehab stint with Triple-A Charlotte.
The left fielder will hit seventh in his first appearance since he strained his left oblique in Toronto on April 18.
The White Sox hope Viciedo, who had 25 homers and 78 RBIs last season, offers an offense last in the American League in slugging percentage a little more punch.
Veteran first baseman Paul Konerko also noted the importance of the club fielding its Opening Day lineup, something that hasn’t happened only six times this season.
“You come into spring training with a plan of these are the guys that are going to play and this is the lineup,” Konerko said. “So, you want to try to see that as much as you can. It’s kind of been not that all year. Not saying that’s a reason. We could have done better with some of the stuff. We haven’t done well. It shouldn’t matter if you have guys from A-ball. We should be better at it. But it is nice to see the guys who earned the starting spot be back in there.”
Viciedo went 3-for-15 with a walk in his four games at Charlotte. Despite the three-week layoff, Viciedo believes he’s up to speed at the plate.
“I feel great,” Viciedo said through a translator. “I’m ready for the game. I had about four games in Triple-A and I feel like I’m ready to play the game. I’m going to go little by little. I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself. This is a team thing and I’m just going to go day by day and try to do what I know how to do. So, there’s no pressure.”
Beckham inching toward return
Gordon Beckham took another step in his recovery from a broken left hamate bone when he took full swings off a tee on Friday. It’s the first time Beckham took full swings since he underwent surgery on April 16.
Beckham felt good after he took 100 swings. Earlier this week, Beckham said he hopes to start a rehab assignment sometime late next week. For now, however, the second baseman said he has a rough outline of when he may return to the diamond, which would likely include four games in the minors.
“We’ve got a very general timetable which is maybe a week and a half from now, go do a rehab assignment,” Beckham said. “It could be bumped up, it could be moved back. … Let’s just say a couple of weeks from today, that’s the goal. It’s not easy. The team’s been struggling a little bit so it’s tough to watch it. It’s one thing to go through it because you’re out there playing and you understand what everybody’s going through. It’s given me good perspective and hopefully I come back better for it.”
White Sox manager Robin Ventura isn’t sure on when Beckham will return to the team. He said he relies on a combination of information from the player and the training staff to determine when he can again pencil Beckham into the lineup.
“If he's feeling good and those guys give him that clearance, you're going to let him go,” Ventura said. “I'm always going to want him as soon as we can get him, so it's more up to the medical staff.”
Hahn: Floyd up to task
General manager Rick Hahn said if anyone is built to come back from reconstructive elbow surgery, its Gavin Floyd. Floyd is expected to miss 14-19 months after he had surgery Tuesday to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow as well as a tear in his flexor muscle.
“You’d hate to see anybody lose time to injury much less go through what is a catastrophic injury and surgery,” Hahn said. “You’ve seen guys come back not only as good but some arguably better after they’ve had a repair phase. We’re certainly rooting for him to make the full, quick, speedy recovery, but it takes time. The good thing about Gavin is anyone who has been around him for the last couple of years knows he is an extraordinarily diligent worker and if anyone is going to put in the time and commitment needed to full recovery, it’s Gavin.”