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Who will White Sox dump to make room for Dayan Viciedo?

Jun 13, 2011, 4:16 PM EDT

Chicago White Sox v Washington Nationals

Now that Dayan Viciedo has successfully made the transition from range-impaired third baseman to passable right fielder at Triple-A the 22-year-old prospect told Scott Merkin of MLB.com that he’s “ready” for another chance with the White Sox.

And general manager Ken Williams apparently agrees, telling Merkin that “it would be awfully interesting to have him in this lineup” and “he’s obviously got some things he still needs to work on, but I would have no qualms about bringing him here.”

Now the only question is how the White Sox could create an opening in the lineup for him.

Alex Rios and Adam Dunn are slumping, but big contracts mean they aren’t going anywhere. Coming into the season there was speculation about Viciedo replacing Carlos Quentin in right field, but now Quentin is leading the White Sox in homers and ranks eighth among AL hitters in OPS.

All of which seems to point to Juan Pierre as the odd man out since he’s gone from light-hitting to no-hitting, batting just .259 with a .628 OPS while being thrown out on half of his steal attempts. Replacing Pierre with Viciedo–by way of Quentin shifting to left field–would be a defensive downgrade, but with Viciedo hitting .313 with 10 homers and an .877 OPS in 61 games at Triple-A the swap would also dramatically change the White Sox’s lineup.

  1. shanemcdowell - Jun 13, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    Why not? Seems like a low risk / high reward situation. You’re currently third in the division, but one of the teams above you is fading fast. Of the two teams below you, one is regressing back to what is expected and one has gotten hot but still has a long ways to go.

    If the sacrifice of defense for offense doesn’t work out, you probably end up second or third in the division anyway, and you’ve gotten a good look at a guy you hope will be a part of your plans for 2012. If it does work out and he’s worth a couple of wins over Pierre, maybe it’s enough to catch Detroit (assuming Cleveland keeps falling).

  2. proudlycanadian - Jun 13, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    Why not indeed; however, I would give serious consideration to dumping Rios. I saw his act in Toronto. After a glimpse of his actual talent last season, he has returned to his unproductive self this year.

  3. dcg13 - Jun 13, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    It has to be Pierre- he has killed this team all season long with his terrible offense, but what is worse is the number of games that he has cost the team with his terrible fielding and inability to catch fly balls.

    • jwbiii - Jun 13, 2011 at 6:51 PM

      Right. If they bench Rios, they have to move Pierre to center. As poorly as he has played in left, I can’t see that working out well.

  4. qcubed3 - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    Why would they drop Pierre for Viciedo when Lillibridge has been playing so well? Lillibridge has literally won two games this year with his defense alone. I guess the Sox “could” bench Rios, thus making room for both Viciedo and Lillibridge. At worst, it would light a fire under Rios’ keester.

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