MINNEAPOLIS -- There’s no question Dayan Viciedo’s struggles at the plate this season have hindered the White Sox offense.
After he blasted 25 home runs last season and drove in 78 runs, the team identified Viciedo, 24, as a potential centerpiece for the offense.
While he had a nice three-week run when he returned from the disabled list in mid-May, Viciedo hasn’t been able to maintain consistency and his numbers -- four homers and 18 RBIs through 47 games -- don’t hide that fact.
But the White Sox are hardly ready to give up on the youngster. They’re very pleased with his at-bats of late, as Viciedo tripled twice in the past two games and has displayed an all-fields approach.
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White Sox manager Robin Ventura believes it’s a sign the outfielder has begun to apply what they’ve tried to teach him.
“With hitting, you have to stick with it even though you might not have immediate feedback from one at-bat to another,” Ventura said. “It’s a process over the course of the year. You know what is best for him, but he has to buy into it.”
The White Sox want Viciedo to go from a pull-happy approach to a hitter who stays up the middle. They’re certain he has enough power to hit to all fields and can point to a home run he hit at Target Field last month that carried the gap in right-center field (about 380 feet) and the 25-foot wall.
As convinced as the coaching staff is of Viciedo’s prowess, they know he has to believe it first.
“Sometimes it’s easier said than ‘Hey just stay with that,’ ” Ventura said. “Get in the box, how guys are pitching him. You have to buy into it to be able to succeed at it. That’s part of being young, battling and getting through this. … What you’re looking at now is not indicative of his talent. You continue to understand he is young and it’s getting better.”
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Viciedo’s three-run triple in Monday’s win represented three-quarters of his RBI total from the previous 27 games. Ventura thinks the hit will give Viciedo a big lift. Viciedo agreed he’s made better contact of late but needs even more improvement.
“I feel good,” Viciedo said through a translator. “I felt like I was making better contact, but I also need to get better. There are a couple of things I need to get better at. I feel that there have been some rough spots where things haven’t gone the right way. But there are some good things too, and I want to work on those good things that I’m doing right now and concentrate on those to become more consistent.”
Anderson to Kannapolis
It was expected first-round pick Tim Anderson would begin his professional career at Advanced Rookie Bristol this week. But after the shortstop, the 17th overall pick in last week’s amateur baseball draft, worked out with the team’s other draftees, the club decided to send him to Single-A Kannapolis.
“(Assistant general manager Buddy Bell) and his staff felt the kid was ready, he was in game shape and they may as well start him in the Sally League,” general manager Rick Hahn said.
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Monday’s 4 1/3 scoreless innings is just another example of the success had by the White Sox bullpen in June. The team’s relievers struck out seven batters and helped pave the way for a 4-2 victory over the Houston Astros. The team’s relievers own a collective 2.34 ERA in 50 innings this month to drop their season ERA from 4.23 to 3.75.