7/8/2014 7:43 P.M. ET
Viciedo's inconsistency sparks debate
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
BOSTON -- The debate concerning Dayan Viciedo and his immense but sometimes untapped offensive ability goes something like this:
Those in support of Viciedo point to his youth at 25 years old and his lack of experience before joining the White Sox prior to 2009, with just 801 at-bats total over three years for Villa Clara in Cuba, as reasons for optimism. They also look at his ability to carry a team for weeks at a time when he gets hot, with Viciedo entering Tuesday featuring a .333 average with five homers and 11 RBIs over his last 10 games.
Detractors point to Viciedo's overall inconsistency, despite working with three hitting coaches since joining the White Sox, not to mention being an outfielder who could end up more as a designated hitter. It's a division of opinion that exists to some extent within the White Sox organization and could end up leading to Viciedo being moved before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline or in the upcoming offseason.
There are plenty within the organization, though, who believe Viciedo has much more to offer. Maybe not 50 homers and 120 RBIs, but certainly closer to the 25 homers and 78 RBIs he posted in 2012.
"There is no doubt there is way more in there," said White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu of Viciedo, through interpreter and White Sox manager of cultural development Lino Diaz. "If he continues to work as hard as he has, he'll get what he wants to get."
"Oh, absolutely," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I think there's more there."
Ventura termed Viciedo as streaky, and pointed out that once he goes into these hot streaks, he starts to pull too much instead of letting his talent take over. Venture also used David Ortiz as an example as to how good numbers can become great over time.
"Nowadays, if you see a guy come up like [Mike] Trout and does what he does, everybody is judged by that," Ventura said. "You look at David on the other side, with the Twins, it didn't click in the first go around. He had decent seasons, but you see what happens when you see the maturity process happen as a baseball player. Just because it doesn't happen immediately doesn't mean it's not there."
Dunn getting a feel for 'normalcy' at the plate
BOSTON -- Adam Dunn described career homer No. 453 on Monday as the first time he's hit a ball on the barrel in three weeks. He added that his double to start a three-run fourth was the second time he had barreled up a pitch in that same period.
Dunn said Tuesday that he feels healthy and his recent 4-for-29 funk prior to Monday's extra-base punch simply represented one of those lulls during the course of a season.
"Sometimes they last longer than others," Dunn said. "But usually if it is going good, it's going pretty good. Hopefully, it's the start of something where I can get on a roll."
"For a guy like him, unless he hits one about 500 feet, he feels that way," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "He's had some good at-bats and has drawn some big walks in the last couple of weeks, too. You want to see him on a roll. Once he goes on a spurt, he can do a lot of damage and help us out with Jose [Abreu] in front of him."
His 53 walks place Dunn third in the American League, and his 4.52 pitches per plate appearances rank first in that category. Dunn has been seeing the ball well and feeling good for most of this season, so he didn't do much experimenting with his plate approach during the cold stretch.
"I'm not that big of an experimenter. It's a feel for me," Dunn said. "I don't care what it looks like. If it feels normal, I'll go with it. In the cage, you go and try to get that feel with normalcy and hopefully it translates into the game. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't."
Lim named White Sox All-Star Teacher
BOSTON -- Garrett Lim of Walnut, Calif. was selected as the White Sox winner for the Target Presents PEOPLE All-Star Teachers, recognizing top-flight current or retired teachers who make an impact with their students and within the community.
According to his bio, Lim originally was a chemist who eventually followed his passion to become a chemistry teacher. He started watching baseball in the early 90s and said that he was drawn to Frank Thomas and how he approached the art of hitting. Thomas became his favorite player, and since Thomas played for the White Sox, they became his favorite team.
Lim will be one of the 30 representatives recognized as part of All-Star week and during the pregame All-Star Game festivities.
Third to first
• Abreu was not part of the four AL participants announced Tuesday for the 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby, with Brian Dozier, Yoenis Cespedes and Adam Jones joining captain Jose Bautista. A fifth participant will be announced on Thursday.
Abreu did not comment on the Derby on Tuesday, and pushed aside the question Monday to focus on the game.
"We've still got some time here," said Abreu through interpreter and White Sox manager of cultural development Lino Diaz. "We've got [six] games to go, and, to be honest, I haven't thought about that. That's not a priority right now."
• A.J. Pierzynski, currently serving as catcher for the Red Sox, has fond memories of the 2006 "Punch A.J." campaign run by the White Sox and pushing him to the All-Star Game as the American League Final Vote winner.
"Yeah, it was fun," Pierzynski said. "They did a great job with it. People got behind it. We were lucky we were home, which always helps. There was the [Taste of Chicago] going on in the city, too.
"It was easy to rally a lot of people. We were playing well. We were selling out almost every game. The White Sox did a good job of marketing it and getting it out there. Obviously, I won so, it was cool to go that way."
• There was nothing but praise for Fenway Park after Abreu played his first career game at the historic venue.
"Yes I am aware of the history and, to be honest with you, it is an honor to play here," said Abreu, through interpreter and White Sox manager of cultural development Lino Diaz. "Given the age and everything, it's a place that has a great environment to play in. It's an honor to play here for the first time."
• In a correction from Monday's postgame, Scott Carroll became the ninth pitcher in White Sox history to work six-plus scoreless innings and allow one hit within his first eight starts per STATS. Hector Santiago was the last White Sox pitcher to do it on Oct. 1, 2012, at Cleveland.
The Red Sox finished with two hits Monday, marking the first time the White Sox held them to two hits or fewer in a shutout at Fenway since July 21, 1962.