Through 30 Cactus at-bats heading into Friday, Dayan Viciedo has struck out 11 times with just two walks and four hits. On top of that, the 23-year-old has struggled defensively, looking far from comfortable after moving from right to left field.
Kenny Williams admitted as much earlier this week, telling CSN's Pat Boyle that he sees his left fielder as "uncomfortable" in the outfield. Viciedo's move to left field is a necessary one given it allows Alejandro De Aza to play center and Alex Rios in right, positions at which both players are defensively utilized the best.
But there's another wrinkle here. Viciedo's defensive issues may be seeping into his offensive production, or lack thereof.
"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," White Sox director of player development Buddy Bell said. "It would affect the most veteran of guys, so I would say yeah, it would affect him somewhat."
Plenty of players go through positional changes, but Viciedo's situation is different. He's only been an outfielder for one year, so he's relatively inexperienced in that area of the field.
Bell lauded Viciedo's defensive improvements early last year, saying he thought Viciedo was ready to play right field in the majors in late May. That's a pretty quick turnaround, so perhaps that's a reason to hope Viciedo's defense will quickly improve.
"You have to find a position for a guy like this," Bell said Friday. "He's mentally tough and he'll figure it out."