The thing that I keep hearing on Chicago sports radio as well as all of the sport’s television shows is that White Sox fans want Dayan Viciedo up on the big league club. The 22 year old power hitter has been lighting up AAA Charlotte with his big bat and I believe that the time is now for the White Sox to bring up the big right hander and start playing him every day.
In the 2011 season in Charlotte, Viciedo is hitting .323 with 12 HR and 55 RBI. He has an OBP of .361 and is slugging .520 giving him an OPS over .881. The kid can flat out rake. When the White Sox were in spring training, they put Viciedo out in right field to see if he could play that position and surprisingly, he isn’t half bad. Sox fans have had to watch Juan Pierre get older and worse and now is the time to cut ties with him and bring Viciedo to the big club. What the Sox could do is move Quentin over to left and plug Viciedo into right and get a much needed bat in the lineup.
This goes against what Ozzie wants with his speed at the top, but right now, what Ozzie wants is not working. The Sox could plug in Alexei Ramirez in the lead off spot and then could plug Viciedo in the middle of the lineup to drive in runs where Dunn has failed to do so. Alexei is not your typical lead off man because he does strikeout a lot, but his OBP of .341 isn’t terrible, and could work. Is Viciedo guaranteed to produce like he is right now in the minors? Of course not, but it could be the spark that this team needs.
The power struggle between Ozzie and Kenny Williams seemingly is what is stopping this move from being made at the moment. Kenny has openly said that he would like Viciedo on the club, but his manager likes the team how it is. Ozzie recently has been quoted to say that as long as Pierre is on the team, he is going to play him. Guillen said that if the move is made where Pierre is gone and Viciedo is on the team, he will play accordingly. It seems to be a nasty game of chicken to see which man will blink first. Kenny claims to have given the team that his manager wants and if they fail it is Ozzie’s fault. While Guillen seems to be saying that if Kenny wants to shake up the roster that is up to him. If Kenny does make the move and Viciedo does not produce, Ozzie looks like the good guy who didn’t want him up in the first place and he can say it wasn’t his call.
The fact of the matter is this: the team is underachieving and something has to be done. Kenny has to put his foot down and do what is best for the team. Obviously having Pierre on the field is not the best man for the job. Something different has to happen in this lineup, because going into the end of June, the White Sox are still a team that is under .500. Again, is Viciedo the answer? Maybe. Maybe not. But right now, he can’t hurt the club more than Pierre is and I believe the time is now for the move to be made.