Viciedo won't be the answer to White Sox third base question

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Viciedo won't be the answer to White Sox third base question

When the White Sox signed a 19-year-old Dayan Viciedo in December of 2008, questions persisted about his ability to remain at his native third base. Viciedo stayed at the hot corner in his first two professional seasons, but was bumped to right field in 2011. This spring, Viciedo was moved to left, where he's played in his first full major-league season.

But with Brent Morel on the disabled list and Orlando Hudson hitting .183 as a member of the White Sox, some have wondered whether Viciedo could return to third base. Kenny Williams even broached the idea to the White Sox coaching staff, although it wasn't received too positively.

"It was just in conversation and I was shot down in the room pretty quickly," Williams said. "He wasn't as bad over there as people want to think he was. I think in an emergency situation he can go in there."

But that's just an in an emergency. The Sox have Hudson, Eduardo Escobar and Brent Lillibridge on their roster, all with experience at third base. All three of those players would likely enter a game at third over Viciedo.

Three months ago, Viciedo looked lost at the plate. It wasn't until the final week of spring training that he started to hit, although he tailed back off in April, posting a .585 OPS with 18 strikeouts and one walk in the month. But more noticeable was his lack of defensive confidence at his new position.

Williams noted during spring training that Viciedo looked "uncomfortable" in left field, which director of player development Buddy Bell took a step further.

"I'm sure there's a little bit of that, being able to separate your offense and your defense. I don't think there's any question about that," Bell told CSNChicago in March. "It would affect the most veteran of guys, so I would say yeah, it would affect him somewhat."

What Bell was getting at was that Viciedo's defensive issues could very well have been creeping into his offensive approach, leading to an all-around struggle. As Viciedo has looked more and more comfortable in left field, his offense has come around. Since May 2, Viciedo has hit nine home runs with a .829 OPS, right about in line with what was projected out of him prior to the season.

If Viciedo were moved back to third and wasn't comfortable there, it very well could negate the entire argument as to why he should be shifted out of left field. That's the worry, and that's something of which White Sox certainly appear cognizant.

"He's probably be scared to death right now," Williams said. "He's probably best where he is."

Preview: White Sox continue series with Tigers on CSN

Preview: White Sox continue series with Tigers on CSN

The White Sox continue their road series with the Tigers on Tuesday night in the Motor City, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage from Detroit starts at 6 p.m. Then be sure to stick around following the final out for reaction and analysis on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today's starting pitching matchup: Anthony Ranaudo (0-1, 7.88 ERA) vs. Daniel Norris (2-2, 3.63 ERA)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you're ready for the action.

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— Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes.

— See what fans are talking about before, during and after the game with White Sox Pulse.

Isaiah Wright, young fan with cancer, receives VIP treatment from White Sox

Isaiah Wright, young fan with cancer, receives VIP treatment from White Sox

Berwyn-native and White Sox fan Isaiah Wright entered the world fighting the odds. At just 14 years old, he has undergone multiple organ transplants and more than 50 surgeries because of a rare birth defect.

Isaiah and his family have an appreciation for just how precious life can be and they were able to make the most of a recent visit to the South Side for a White Sox game, where he received VIP treatment and met his favorite players, including a private meeting with Jose Abreu.

Check out the video above.

A Go Fund Me page was also created to help support Isaiah and his family. Click here to make a donation.

Tigers' late homer sends the White Sox to another tough loss

Tigers' late homer sends the White Sox to another tough loss

DETROIT — The White Sox still haven’t figured out how to beat their American League Central foes.

Short of a miracle run over their final 32 games, the White Sox can point to their failures within their division as a primary reason they’ve missed the postseason for eight straight seasons.

The middle of the White Sox order missed out on several key chances on Monday night and kept the Detroit Tigers within striking distance in a 4-3 loss in front 27,201 on Monday night at Comerica Park. Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s two-run homer off Nate Jones in the eighth inning dropped the White Sox to 11-27 against the Tigers, Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals this season. The White Sox dropped to 21-25 in one-run games.

“Usually when you have aspirations to get in the playoffs your No. 1 priority is always taking care of the teams in your division,” catcher Alex Avila said. “That’s the best way to go about it, and we haven’t really done that too well this year.”

Much like their postseason aspirations, the White Sox had been hanging on by a thread through seven innings on Monday.

Starter James Shields stranded seven in six innings, and the combination of Dan Jennings, Tommy Kahnle and Chris Beck kept the White Sox ahead 3-2 through the seventh.

Jones took over in the eighth and issued a leadoff walk to J.D. Martinez. Two batters later, Saltalamacchia ripped a 1-0 fastball out to right to put Detroit ahead for good.

Melky Cabrera’s bid for a game-tying homer in the ninth off Francisco Rodriguez was caught on the track in right-center field.

“Any time you get that reversal right there late in the game it’s always tough,” manager Robin Ventura said. “Nate has been as consistent as anybody. It’s a tough one, especially when you know he has his stuff. You tip your cap to them, really.

“Salty has gotten us a couple times late.

“That was the tough one because you grinded your way through it.”

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It was made even more difficult given the White Sox offense missed out on several key opportunities.

Tyler Saladino drove in all three White Sox runs, delivering a two-run single in the fourth inning and putting them back ahead by a run with a solo homer in the seventh.

But in the first, Jose Abreu struck out and Todd Frazier flew out with two aboard.

Abreu later grounded into a double play in the fifth after the first two men reached and Frazier grounded out. Frazier also struck out with two in scoring position to end the seventh inning after Abreu doubled Cabrera over to third.

The White Sox finished 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine.

“It was a game with opportunities we didn’t cash in on,” Ventura said. “(Alex) Wilson came in and got a big double play really changed how that (fifth) inning developed. We did some good things but looking at it like this, that’s what makes it tough.”

Though he pushed the limit in nearly every inning, Shields finished a rough August on a high note. Much like he did when he posted a 1.71 ERA in six starts from June 29-July 26, Shields was most effective when he needed to make the big pitch.

Tigers hitters were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven against Shields. During the six-game stretch, opposing hitters went 0-for-28 against Shields with runners in scoring position.

He struck out six and allowed two earned runs in six innings, putting the White Sox in position for a much-needed win.

“The first couple of innings I was a little erratic, but as the game went on, I got a little more comfortable and just made some pitches when I needed to,” Shields said. “Overall, I felt good out there, and unfortunately we lost the game.”