There's no replacing Paul Konerko in the White Sox lineup. If he's out one day, one week or worse, the Sox aren't better off for it. He's leading the team in OPS, is second in home runs and third in RBIs. And his leadership and professionalism are off the charts.
But at least for the next two games, the Sox can probably manage.
Coming into Friday, Dayan Viciedo didn't have a spot in the White Sox lineup this weekend. With no designated hitter, Adam Dunn was set to man left field for the first time since 2009. That meant Viciedo was going to be relegated to pinch-hitting duties, a role that could've lasted all weekend according to manager Robin Ventura.
But if Konerko has to miss Saturday and Sunday's games, that'll allow Viciedo to stay in the lineup. Dunn played two innings in left and was moved to first base when Konerko was hit in the face, giving way to Viciedo -- who went 1 for 2 on Friday, putting him at 9 for 18 in his last five games.
"We're lucky to have a lot of those options," catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "Paul will always be missed. Hopefully hes out shorter rather than longer. But we have to be able to go without him."
While Viciedo will get a chance to keep his success up if Konerko is out, the flip side is Konerko's recent success could be halted. With his home run Friday, Konerko is 20 for his last 49 with three home runs, eight walks, seven RBIs and an OPS over 1.000. To say he's been locked in would be an understatement.
"I feel bad for Paul, the way hes swinging the bat, to have that happen." Pierzynski said. "I just hope hes ok. I think hes doing all right and you never want to see that, no matter who it is."