CHICAGO -- In just a few weeks since his September callup, third baseman Brent Morel already has earned the "very impressive" tag from White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.
That same sort of praise was not exactly heaped upon fellow third-base candidate Dayan Viciedo when Guillen was asked about his future prior to Sunday's series finale with Detroit. In fact, Guillen doesn't seem to have the power-packed Viciedo firmly in his 2011 plans.
"I don't think Viciedo is ready. That's my opinion," said Guillen of the 21-year-old Cuban. "To play in the big leagues? You see a good couple of at-bats here and there, but to get a good 500 at-bats, I would think about it.
"He's still far away from being here, a year away or maybe two years away. I don't know how far away. Right now, I don't think he can perform every day. We have to wait and see in Spring Training how mature he is and how he comes back. It's good for him to taste a little bit of the big league level and how people do stuff here."
Viciedo came to the White Sox prior to the 2009 campaign via a four-year, $10 million deal. The return on that investment basically has been Viciedo's .271 average with three home runs and seven RBIs over 85 at-bats this season.
Unfair expectations might have been placed on Viciedo to produce immediately upon joining the White Sox, much like shortstop Alexei Ramirez, who stands as a Silver Slugger candidate in his third year with the team. But Guillen pointed out on Sunday how Viciedo didn't play throughout the entire 2008 season as he came over from Cuba to the United States.
Morel already was known for his stellar glove work and has shown the ability to pull the baseball with authority during his September work. Mark Teahen has two more years left on his three-year extension and figures into the third-base picture, while Viciedo seems to be more of a first base/designated hitter candidate at this point.
Regardless of his position, Guillen believes Viciedo needs work as a hitter to succeed consistently at this level, especially where his one walk this season is concerned.
"Be more patient at the plate," said Guillen of the focus for Viciedo, laughing at that critique coming from a less-than-patient hitter in his own right. "But learn a little bit more about the big league level.
"You hit in Triple-A and you face two or three good pitchers. In the big leagues, you face everyone. They have a lot of scouts. They are going to see his weakness. Offensively, he has to make some adjustments."