White Sox Viciedo stays sharp, waits for playing time

White Sox Viciedo stays sharp, waits for playing time
April 2, 2014, 12:30 pm
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Dayan Viciedo isn’t in the White Sox starting lineup on Wednesday for a second straight game.

The left fielder, who started 124 games last season, is platooning with Alejandro De Aza.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura indicated the team is geared toward whatever puts them in the best position to win and he may go with the hot hand over development. De Aza is back in the lineup after he homered twice in Monday’s season-opening win. So for now, Viciedo is doing what he can to be ready whenever Ventura plays him.

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“I want to play every day,” Viciedo said through a translator. “But right now, you have to deal with what you have. You have to stay sharp. So when you get a chance to play, then you are able to do that and be able to help the team.”

Viciedo hit .280 with five doubles and an RBI in 17 games this spring. He hit 25 home runs in 2012 but slipped to 14 last season. Viciedo said he’s happy with the work he and hitting coach Todd Steverson have put together in the cage.

“We talked about being more patient and being more selective as far as the pitches that we pick to hit,” Viciedo said. “We work on that during spring training. We had pretty good results. It’s a matter of staying consistent and continuing to do that. … I want to keep myself sharp so when I get my opportunity I can provide for the team as well.”

Other notes

-- Conor Gillaspie is out of Wednesday’s lineup because he’s sick, Ventura said. Gillaspie doubled, walked and scored a run in four plate appearances in Monday’s opener. Ventura said he likely would have gone with the same lineup had Gillaspie been healthy. Marcus Semien moved to third base in Gillaspie’s stead and Leury Garcia is starting at second.

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-- De Aza is one of four players in White Sox history to have two Opening Day homers in the same game. The others: Jim Thome (2008, at Cleveland), Sammy Sosa (1991, at Baltimore) and Minnie Minoso (1960, vs. Kansas City).

-- The White Sox lineup Monday featured five players playing on Opening Day for the first time --- Semien, Gillaspie, Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia and Adam Eaton. Per Elias it was the most first-time Opening Day players for the White Sox since 1944 (Dick Clark, Guy Cutright, Orval Grove, Roy Schalk and Tom Turner).

-- Ventura needs one win for 150 in his managerial career.