KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Dayan Viciedo has been inconsistent this season but he impressed Robin Ventura with his performance on Wednesday.
The White Sox manager said he didn’t know if he had seen Viciedo swing the way he did when he went 3-for-4 with a grand slam to left field and a deep fly ball out to right field. Viciedo used all fields in his at-bats, a skill on which he and hitting coach Jeff Manto have worked hard.
Until Paul Konerko was scratched from Thursday’s lineup, Viciedo was scheduled to hit eighth for the sixth straight game. Ventura likes what he has seen from the young outfielder of late but needs to see more.
Viciedo was hitting .249 with 11 homers and 41 RBIs through Wednesday.
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“Where he’s at right now, if he continues what he does last night, he obviously bats higher,” Ventura said. “For right now (eighth is) where he’s at but he has potential to move up higher in the lineup. He has been pretty inconsistent what he has done this year. He’s started making adjustments and you make adjustments like he did last night, you start moving higher.”
The key to Viciedo’s recent success is how he has positioned his body, Ventura said. In adjusting his body, Viciedo has given himself a longer look at pitches.
“He’s letting the ball come to him and still reacting,” Ventura said. “It was just a better look and he can be more effective doing it that way than he was before. I don’t know if it was being overaggressive, but it’s more of a usable approach.”
Viciedo has missed time this season with a strained oblique and a bruised thumb. He thinks injuries have played a role in falling off from 25 homers last season to 11. But he plans to finish the season strong.
“Definitely it's a result of a lot of the work I've been doing,” Viciedo said through a translator. “Injuries have slowed me a little bit too, but definitely the main thing is never give up. Keep working, keep working and things eventually are going to happen.”
Limited relief for Gillaspie
Though Wednesday’s three-hit night offered some relief, Conor Gillaspie was already back and ready to grind before Thursday’s series finale. Gillaspie admitted earlier this week he has been frustrated because he feels good at the plate but hasn’t had good results.
“It definitely helps,” Gillaspie said. “Focusing on good at-bats, which I’ve been seemingly thinking about that more than a result, has helped me at least deal with whatever the outcome may be. Playing all these games now at this point in the year is kinda getting kind of repetitive and tough. You keep trying to battle out at-bats. It’s just quality arm after quality arm. It’s tough.”
-- General manager Rick Hahn likes the positive vibes felt throughout the organization this month. He thinks the White Sox pitching staff has a big test ahead when the club returns to the road at the end of the month to face the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles. “There is still an opportunity to learn a fair amount and put us in a good position in the offseason knowing what we have on our hands,” Hahn said.
-- Addison Reed became the first pitcher in the majors since 2008 and the first in franchise history to record saves in five straight games. Francisco Rodriguez was the last player to record saves in five straight games before Reed when he accomplished the feat in June 2008.