CHICAGO – A trip to the bench followed by a possible demotion to the minor leagues may be the fate of Chicago White Sox outfielder Dayan Viciedo. The slumping left fielder made an embarrassing base running gaffe in the eighth inning in Game 1 of Friday’s doubleheader.
Starting from second base, Viciedo was tagged out in a rundown between third and home plate after Jeff Keppinger singled. The unacceptable part of the play was his team was trailing by nine runs.
Sox manager Robin Ventura was incensed by the outfielder’s untimely brain cramp.
“That bothers everybody,” Ventura remarked in his postgame media session. “What you do is take care of it and make sure they know it so it doesn’t happen again.”
Viciedo made two throws to the wrong base on Wednesday evening, setting up an extra run that scored in a 3-0 loss to the Mets. A trip to the minor leagues might be the wake-up call the outfielder and some of his teammates need to play the game with a degree of intelligence they currently lack.
Ventura admitted he took Viciedo out of the game to start the ninth inning because of his lackluster running play.
“I don’t know what happened with him,” an angry Ventura said. “He is not playing in the second game.”
Viciedo, who hit 25 home runs in 2012, was expected to be an important part of the White Sox offense this season. Despite the manager’s and coaching staff’s support, he has underachieved as much as any player in the league. Viciedo was hitting .227 with five home runs and 22 RBIs after Friday’s first game.
“He tries to rush out and swing as hard as he can,” Ventura said “ I think there has to be more patience in his at-bats and approach. What we have been working with him on is something he really can’t grasp right now as far as getting back and being patient. That is the frustrating part and he knows it, too.”
A trip to the minors might be just what Viciedo needs to get his head and swing in the right place.