03/08/11 7:55 PM ET
Viciedo's versatility visible in right field
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
"That's natural," said a smiling Viciedo of the play, speaking through translator Jackson Miranda. "Natural instinct."
Viciedo actually played right field during his three professional years in Cuba, joking on Tuesday how one crazy manager actually put the 5-foot-11, 230-pounder in center field for a game. So, Viciedo's seamless conversion from Minor League time spent at third base and first base to the outfield during this present Spring Training should come as no surprise.
But with three more hits during Tuesday's 9-8 victory over Colorado and another outfield assist, throwing Ben Paulsen out at home in the eighth, Viciedo has been making his case stronger by the day to earn an Opening Day roster spot over other solid candidates such as Brent Lillibridge, Alejandro De Aza and Lastings Milledge. Viciedo feels supremely comfortable in right, which is of greatest importance in this particular scenario.
2010 Spring Training - Chicago White Sox
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"When you play third base, every pitch you have to be on point because something might be coming toward you. You have to pay attention. When you are out in the outfield, you might get a fly ball every once in a while. You might have a dribble coming out there. You are not as intense in your concentration as much as you would be at third."
Early defensive work with Minor League outfield instructor Daryl Boston and seven-time Gold Glove outfielder Devon White, who also is the organization's baserunning instructor, has helped Viciedo develop. Viciedo cautions that past experience at the position doesn't automatically mean he will be flawless.
"It has been a long time since I played it. There might be plays I might be confused on how to really play out," Viciedo said. "There might be a few errors here and there, but that should be seen as natural because I'm relearning that position."
Danks doesn't want to get wild
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- John Danks' second Cactus League start on Tuesday took him one out into the fourth inning and 55 pitches deep before manager Ozzie Guillen lifted him following a walk to Colorado's Chris Iannetta. Giving up two runs on five hits over 3 1/3 innings certainly doesn't trouble Danks, who feels good throwing all his pitches.
Throwing only 28 of his pitches for strikes, leading to three walks, remains unacceptable for the southpaw.
"Walks are an issue. There's no other way of putting it," said Danks, who has issued five walks over 5 1/3 innings in two starts. "I'm throwing all my pitches. I feel good, I just need to be able to throw it where I want to now.
"I might have been overthrowing. It's definitely something we're going to work on for the next start. I'm not worried about getting where I need to be before long."
Guillen shared Danks' optimism.
"He threw the ball very well, and I'm happy where he is," said Guillen. "With the big guys, I don't worry about it. They get ready for the games."
Guillen learns lesson from Ali visit
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen previously has met Muhammad Ali, although those past encounters didn't make Tuesday morning's meeting with the boxing legend at Camelback Ranch any less special. But Guillen felt the overall discussion taking place for close to 45 minutes, moderated by Ivan G. Blumberg, the CEO of Athletes for Hope, was the truly amazing experience.
"All the meetings we have here, I think this was the best one I ever heard in 30 years in Spring Training," Guillen said. "One of the things I get from that meeting is you're never wrong.
"You know whatever you do to the community, whatever the reason it is, you're doing it. And that's why this guy has inspired a lot of people to do it."
Guillen added that he learned a little something extra about his crew simply by listening to thoughts expressed by players such as Brent Lillibridge and Lastings Milledge during Tuesday's meeting.
Teahen remains loyal to Saint Mary's
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Mark Teahen showed his devotion to Saint Mary's, his alma mater, by flying to Las Vegas to catch the West Coast Conference men's basketball championship contest between the Gaels and Gonzaga on Monday night. Teahen was able to make his flight with a friend, even after a prolonged 16-16 deadlock with Cleveland on Monday afternoon in Glendale.
Gonzaga claimed a 75-63 victory, but Teahen has hopes for Saint Mary's to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Teahen followed up his college basketball journey with two hits and a nice play defensively at third base during Tuesday's 9-8 victory over the Rockies.
Third to first
Matt Thornton received a nice ovation from the White Sox-partisan crowd when he entered Tuesday's game in the seventh inning. Thornton agreed to a two-year, $12 million extension, announced on Sunday. ... Anthony Carter, viewed as a possible White Sox closer of the future, has not been scored upon in three outings when factoring in Tuesday's effort covering 1 2/3 hitless innings. ... The White Sox finished 8-for-14 with runners in scoring position during Tuesday's 9-8 victory over the Rockies.