White Sox

Viciedo avoids surgery, out 2-4 weeks

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Viciedo avoids surgery, out 2-4 weeks

Friday, March 11, 2011Posted: 2:30 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. The first significant injury of Dayan Viciedos career couldnt have come at a worse timea 22nd birthday present that came gift-wrapped by Texas Rangers pitcher Dave Bush, delivered in the eighth inning of last nights 7-6 win.

It was only a 79 mph changeup that broke Viciedos right thumb, but the pitch set the aspiring fourth outfielder back more than just a bunch of spring training at-bats. Viciedo now effectively has no chance to break camp with the White Sox and possibly make a much bigger impact on the big club than anyone imagined possible for 2011.

Viciedo, who admitted his splinted thumb does hurt a little bit but believes that the thumb will not need surgery, was struggling to remain in good spirits.

I was having a great spring training, and Ive been in great shape, so it does hurt that this ends up happening, Viciedo said. This is the last thing I wanted to happen.

The transplanted infielder remained motionless on the field after being hit, and knew immediately that something was wrong.

As soon as I got hit, I started imagining a break, Viciedo said. After five minutes, I really started to feel the throbbing and pain, and I knew it was something serious.

While Viciedo was seen initially joking in the dugout with manager Ozzie Guillen after the play, the manager later tried to cheer him up.

Ozzie gave me some encouragement and told me to keep at it, Viciedo said. Its just a bump in the road. Ill heal up and go from there.

As Viciedo sat at his locker, in uniform but unable to play for a few weeks, he tried hard not to think about his lost opportunity, and instead point the positives of his first taste of stardom, here in his aborted Cactus League season.

Making the team is really a decision thats up to the coaches, Viciedo said. I just have to go out there and work hard. All Ive been thinking about is staying in shape and working hard in spring training. Whether I was going to make it or not was up to the coaches.

Viciedo had just taken a second set of x-rays before addressing the media, which confirmed a fractured right thumb, the fracture located below his thumbnail. Considered a simple fracture.

Dayan can resume conditioning in 2-3 days (solely because of swelling); two-four weeks, can resume baseball activities.

No surgery needed.

Brighter injury news

Jake Peavy threw a light, 24-pitch side session on Friday and reported being on track for his Monday start vs. the San Diego Padres.

I went very light today, just trying to let my body rest and see if I can recover a little bit better than I did after my first start, Peavy said.

Aside from tweaking his between-start ritual, Peavy reported no issues at all, health-wise.

Just typical arm soreness, Peavy said. Im kind of going through that dead arm period. I went very light, just to play some long toss tomorrow, hopefully run some new blood in there and have a good day offthe go out there Monday and feel 100.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

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USA TODAY

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

The White Sox freed up a spot on their 40-man roster Sunday, outrighting pitcher Dylan Covey to Triple-A Charlotte.

Covey pitched in 18 games last season, making 12 starts for the South Siders. Things did not go well, with Covey turning in an 0-7 record and a 7.71 ERA in 70 innings.

While there was an outside chance that Covey could have provided at least some starting-pitching depth heading into the 2018 season, the team's recent additions of Miguel Gonzalez and Hector Santiago — not to mention Covey's results from last season — wiped out that idea.

At the moment, the White Sox starting rotation figures to look like this by Opening Day: James Shields, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Gonzalez and Carson Fulmer, with Santiago seeming like a good option to provide depth as the long man in the bullpen.

Jose Abreu's got a new beard, but what he really deserves is a contract extension

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu's got a new beard, but what he really deserves is a contract extension

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Sunday marked the first surprise of White Sox spring training, courtesy of first baseman Jose Abreu.

“This year, I’m going to try to steal more bases,” Abreu said through a translator.

This might have sounded like a joke, but Abreu was completely serious.

On paper, he’s not exactly Rickey Henderson. In 614 career games, Abreu has only six stolen bases. However, the slimmed-down first baseman does have some sneaky speed. His six triples last season ranked third in the American League. So there are some wheels to work with.

“I like the challenge. I think that’s a good challenge for me. I’m ready for it,” Abreu said.

How many steals are we talking about? A reporter asked sarcastically if a 30-30 season is in the offing? Abreu didn’t exactly shoot down the possibility.

“Who knows? When you fill your mind with positive things, maybe you can accomplish them,” Abreu said. “The mind of a human being works in a lot of different ways. If you fill your mind with good things, good things are going to happen.”

The morning began with Abreu walking to the hitting cages with his Cuban compadres Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert, who the White Sox signed last summer. He held his first workout on Sunday. At the White Sox hitters camp last month, Moncada took Robert under his wing, showing him the ropes, even telling Ricky Renteria, “I got him.”

But Sunday, Abreu was in charge, holding court with the three of them in the cage. Abreu watched closely as Robert hit off a tee, giving him pointers about his swing.

“I just like to help people,” Abreu said. “When I started to play at 16 in Cuba, I had a lot people who hounded me to get better. At the same point, I want to give back things that I’ve learned and pass that along to other people. That’s what I’m doing. I’m not expecting anything else. I’m just glad to help them and get them better.”

What kind of advice has he passed along to Robert?

“Since I came to this country, I learned quickly three keys to be a success: Be disciplined, work hard and always be on time. If you apply those three keys, I think you’re going to be good. Those are the three keys I’m trying to teach the new kids, the young guys,” Abreu said.

Abreu lost about 10 pounds during the offseason. He said he hopes to learn more English in 2018. He also arrived at spring training sporting a scruffy beard which he grew while he was in Cuba so he “could be incongnito.”

Abreu likes his new look. Moncada thinks he should shave it off.

“If the organization doesn’t say anything, I’m just going to keep it,” Abreu said.

Well, so much for that.

Moments after Abreu spoke with the media, Renteria told reporters that Abreu will have to “clean it up a bit.”

The two will find a compromise. Come to think of it, maybe Abreu and the White Sox should do the same about a contract extension in the near future.

Yes, he’ll be 33 when his contract expires in two years, but there have been no signs of a decline with his performance. Instead, Abreu is only getting better both offensively and defensively.

Heck, now he wants to steal bases, too.

After Renteria, Abreu is the leader of this team. He commands ultimate respect inside the clubhouse. He’s become another coach to Moncada, Robert and others. He’s a huge brick in the present and too big of an influence and cornerstone to not have around in the future.

“I hope to play my entire career in the majors with the White Sox,” Abreu said Sunday. “But I can’t control that.”

At some point, a decision will have to be made whether to keep Abreu or trade him. In the meantime, ask yourself this question: What will bring more value to the White Sox, getting a high-end prospect or two in return not knowing if they’ll ever succeed in the majors? Or keeping your best player, the heart and soul of your team, allowing him to show your future stars the way while they’re developing in the major leagues?

Seems like an easy decision to me.