DETROIT – Dayan Viciedo has bounced around from the infield corners to both corners of the outfield since he came to the White Sox, so to see him fielding ground balls at first base from coach Joe McEwing before Friday’s against the Tigers game made you wonder if he’ll be bouncing back to the infield next season.
With first baseman Paul Konerko possibly playing his last season with the Sox, and with minor league outfielders such as Avisail Garcia (sooner) and Trayce Thompson (later) waiting in the wings, it wouldn’t be a shocker if the Sox are leaving their options open at first next year. The Sox have a handful of outfield prospects they’ve spent high draft picks on like Jared Walker, Courtney Hawkins and Keenyn Walker or traded for (like Brandon Jacobs for Matt Thornton) who they hope will push for jobs by 2015.
Manager Robin Ventura said getting Viciedo some work at first was for emergency purposes only, but there’s no doubt as they build a team around pitching and defense that an upgrade over Viciedo in left – his strong and accurate arm notwithstanding – would be a plus.
“At this point, I’m just taking ground balls there in case of an emergency, but that’s a place I played before and feel comfortable, too,’’ Viciedo said through a translator.
“I don’t forget about it. I played there before. And the more I practice at that position, the better I’ll be. But it wasn’t hard at all for me to do that.’’
Viciedo said his confidence is growing in left. But he said it can’t hurt to be versatile
“The more positions I can play, the better,’’ he said. “Especially if I can help the team. I don’t say ‘hey, I want to be the left fielder all the time.’ The more positions I can play, I see it as a positive thing.’ ’’
Viciedo played seven games at first base in 2010 and four in 2011.