I don't know when he's coming up. All I know is that his performance is getting tougher to ignore with each game- whether you're a fan, like myself, or if you're Kenny Williams or Ozzie Guillen.
I had an opportunity to watch every one of Viciedo's at-bats versus Lehigh Valley here on local cable (Central PA) this past weekend. International League pitching is barely a challenge for the guy anymore. He finished the series 8 for 18 (.444) with 1 HR (could have easily been two - his double in Monday's game hit off of the top of the centerfield wall) and 6 RBI. The announcers kept saying, "He's the #3 prospect in the White Sox organization." As far as I'm concerned, he's the best prospect in the organization.
I don't need to go making comparisons between some of the players' stats on the current White Sox team versus what The Tank is doing down in AAA. We know who we want Viciedo to replace in the lineup. Kenny and Ozzie are ok with being 5 games out at the All-Star break in a division without an elite team. But there is no way they aren't making plans right now to make room for the major league ready bat that's smoking down in Charlotte. Those plans most likely involve figuring out how to tell Juan Pierre that the only thing he'll be hitting in July is the unemployment line.
After going 3 for 3 last night, Viciedo's average is up to .330 (third in the IL among hitters with 240+ AB's). His June average stands at a cool .377. He's also driven in 55 runs (tops in the IL). Viciedo even cracks the IL's top 20 in OBP (.369) despite being a guy who doesn't walk much. I guess a .330 average will do that for you. This is a guy who has been money with runners on base and we need that more than anything right now. I don't see any way that he's not on this club after the break. Viciedo's call-up would hopefully mean that Adam Dunn never sees the light of day against lefties.
Who leads off when The Tank is in Chicago? It has to be Alexei, even though I like him more in a run-producing slot (don't we all). His OBP is higher than it's ever been and he's a regular. You could plug Lillibridge in here, but let's go with Alexei and get some everyday stability atop the lineup.
Viciedo should be immediately inserted into the 5-hole in the lineup upon his arrival. Why? I don't care if we have 5, 6 or 7 consecutive righties in the lineup. Would we rather have a black hole (Dunn) sitting in the 5 spot so every time Paulie and Q reach base we have a K instead of some degree of production? Apparently, because it's happened all too often this year.
I don't have the time to contribute a post any longer than this one. I'll be interested in reading the comments. This will be a different, and better team with D.V. on it, but I think Ozzie needs to stop worrying about hurting feelings or protecting veterans come July, August and September. Dunn and Rios have been bad and if they have to hit out of the 7, 8 or 9 spot or sit the bench so Viciedo can play, then so be it.
Where should Viciedo hit in the Sox' lineup?
5 (48 votes)
6 (33 votes)
7 (9 votes)
8 (3 votes)
93 total votes