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Friday, August 2, 2013
Ventura to keep Dayan Viciedo in OF

By Chuck Pleiness
Special to

DETROIT -- As of now the Chicago White Sox have no plans of moving left fielder Dayan Viciedo into the infield on a permanent basis.

Viciedo worked out at first base before Friday's game at Comerica Park against the Detroit Tigers, which led to the speculation.

"As of right now I'd say so," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said when asked if Viciedo would stay in the outfield next season.

The reason for the workout at first base was because of a situation Ventura nearly got himself in during their last series with the Cleveland Indians where he nearly needed someone to plug into that position.

"The other day in Cleveland we started pinch hitting and doing a few different things and it came up where we might have needed someone to play first," Ventura said. "We had already used Conor [Gillaspie] and we didn't really want to use an extra catcher over there and remembering that he played first base, played some infield, [we're] just getting him some ground balls just in case it comes up again.

"He won't be going in over there dry. He will at least have taken some ground balls. It has nothing to do with him playing there, starting there, or even next year, it was more that if it comes up and he goes over there I don't want him to have not taken a ground ball."

Viciedo has played a number of positions with the White Sox but has been primarily their left fielder for the last two seasons.

He has played 11 games at first base from 2010 to 2011 with Chicago.

"At this point I'm just taking ground balls there just in case there is an emergency," Viciedo said through an interpreter. "It's a place I've played there before so I'm comfortable."

His last game at first base was Sept. 22, 2011 at Cleveland.

"I haven't really forgotten how to play there," Viciedo said. "The more I practice in that position the better I will be. It wasn't hard at all."

The outfielder says the more positions he can play, the more he can help out the team.

"I see that as a positive thing," Viciedo said.

With the possible retirement of first baseman Paul Konerko at the end of this season, it aided to the speculation of Viciedo perhaps being his replacement.

"He's made big strides as far as feeling comfortable [in left field]," Ventura said. "I think there have been a few plays where he's felt uncomfortable, but even with him throwing the ball he's made a lot of putouts this year."

Heading into Friday's game, Viciedo had made 105 putouts from left field.

"Every once in a while he's made some decisions and thrown to the wrong base," Ventura said. "[Thursday], with a ball down the line he's got to go to second and keep that double play in order."