CHICAGO -- At 5-foot-11, 240 pounds, Dayan Viciedo once was thought to have been better suited playing linebacker for the Chicago Bears than third base for the Chicago White Sox.
It didn't matter to the critics how third base was the big man's natural position coming over from Cuba. But there was the 21-year-old Viciedo handling three chances flawlessly at third in Thursday's 2-0 victory over the Braves, looking as if he had played the position more than the 10 times he suited up there for Triple-A Charlotte in the 2010 campaign.
Even a slight bobble from Viciedo on Melky Cabrera's eighth-inning grounder was compensated for with a strong and true throwing arm. But Viciedo has never paid much attention to those who have said he can't handle third and has no problems with being used frequently by the White Sox at the hot corner.
"Whether it's said I can't play third or I don't have what it takes to play third, I feel like I can play third real well, so I pay no mind," said Viciedo through translator and White Sox director of public relations Lou Hernandez. "Despite not having played third base [much] at Triple-A, I feel comfortable and real secure."
Viciedo's biggest contribution to the team will be through his power-packed bat, but he also will have to stay sharp through sporadic playing time. Thursday's effort, which included a sharply hit single, was followed by a return to the bench for Viciedo in Friday's series opener against the Cubs.
Taking extra grounders every day during batting practice is one way Viciedo expects to stay sharp in between starts. If he can be solid in the field and stay as dangerous with the bat as the White Sox witnessed with the Knights, he could be that playoff-push addition without giving up any of the organization's young talent.
"I've got the capabilities to see a lot of our home games for our Triple-A team, the way we have certain things set up," said White Sox general manager Ken Williams of Viciedo. "I told the coaching staff this guy is as dangerous as they come at the plate right now. If he can hold his own defensively over there, there's an asset to add to our lineup that has not been as strong on a day-to-day basis as we thought."