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Fractured thumb ruins Viciedo's spring, birthday

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Fractured thumb ruins Viciedo's spring, birthday

Thursday, March 10, 2011
Posted: 4:56 p.m. Updated 11:01 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

Glendale, Ariz. - Dayan Viciedo, whose great work in the field and at the plate early in Cactus League play had positioned him as the darkhorse 25th man on the roster, will be sidelined for up to a month after a right thumb fracture suffered vs. the Texas Rangers on Thursday (which also was Viciedo's 22nd birthday).

Texas hurler Dave Bush hit Viciedo with a 1-0 changeup in the top of the eighth inning. The right fielder remained on the ground for a short period of time, before getting to his feet and leaving the game.

Trailing 5-3 at that point, with Mark Teahen on second with a leadoff double, the White Sox rallied to take a 7-6 lead with a run in the eighth and three more in the top of the ninth. Ironically, it was Viciedos replacement, Andrew Garcia, who doubled in the winning run.

Floyd sparkles as Sox sweep split-squad games

The White Sox won both games on their most challenging day of play yet this spring, winning two road games.

Ironically, it was Viciedos replacement, Andrew Garcia, who doubled in the winning run. Three batters earlier, Michael Restovich had tied the game at six with a two-run single.

White Sox pitching took the day, as starter Phil Humber opened the game with a strong, scoreless three innings and was followed by strong outings from Gregory Infante (two innings) and Kyle Cofield (one).

Brandon Hynick lost a step in his battle to become the 12th man out of the bullpen, as he blew a save in spectacular fashion, surrendering five earned runs in the sixth. Nate Jones finished the game vulturing a win courtesy of the Chisox comeback despite giving up Texas sixth run in the eighth.

For the nightcap of sorts, the White Sox shuttled eastward to Scottsdale to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-3. Gavin Floyd had a terrific outing, the longest of the spring for a White Sox starter. The righthander hurled 4 23 innings and was touched for only three hits and one run, a homer by Russell Branyan.

Chris Sale came on and continued to scuffle a bit, surrendering a two-run homer to Gerardo Parra and raising his ERA to 4.26. Sergio Santos and Brian Bruney pitched the eighth and ninth, respectively, nailing down the win for Floyd.

Gordon Beckham was the offensive star at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, falling just a triple short of the cycle en route to a 3-4, two RBI night that raised his spring average to .429. Dallas McPherson and Alexei Ramirez also contributed two hits and an RBI apiece.

Viciedos injury narrows the 25th man spot on the roster down to three likely contenders: Lastings Milledge, Brent Lillibridge, and Alejandro De Aza. De Aza has the strongest track record with manager Ozzie Guillen, Milledge has been singled out for praise of late by Guillen, and Lillibridge offers the team the most flexibility and has had the strongest spring of the trio.

The White Sox now enter their Friday home tilt against the Cubs sitting at 4-7-1 on the spring.

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

Reported promotion of Zack Collins adds another piece to White Sox rebuilding puzzle

Reported promotion of Zack Collins adds another piece to White Sox rebuilding puzzle

The White Sox rebuilding puzzle is getting closer to completion.

Zack Collins is reportedly en route to the major leagues, according to a report from Miami talk-show host Andy Slater. That adds another one of the White Sox highly rated prospects to the growing list of them at the big league level as the franchise’s contention window looks set to open relatively soon.


Collins was the team’s first-round draft pick in 2016, selected with the No. 10 pick that year out of the University of Miami. Currently ranked as the No. 11 prospect in the farm system, he’s always been praised for his offensive abilities. Last season at Double-A Birmingham, he finished the year with a .382 on-base percentage and launched 15 homers, also winning the Home Run Derby at the Southern League All-Star Game.

In 48 games with Triple-A Charlotte this season, Collins owns a .258/.382/.497 slash line with nine homers, nine doubles, 38 RBIs and 35 walks.

Collins has been lauded as a big bat, but there have been questions about other parts of his game as he’s risen through the system. From the day he was drafted, there were questions about his defensive ability, leading to speculation that he might one day end up at a position besides catcher. He’s also racked up the strikeouts in the minors, with 396 of them in 322 games over his four minor league seasons.

But the White Sox haven’t wavered in their confidence that Collins can be a big league catcher, and it looks like that’s the position he’ll fill should the White Sox call him up before the start of next week’s Crosstown series with the Cubs. Welington Castillo was removed from Sunday’s loss to the New York Yankees with back tightness. The team said Castillo will be reevaluated on Monday. With this report of Collins’ promotion, it looks like Castillo could be headed to the injured list.

Another top prospect reaching the majors adds another tangible example of rebuilding progress. Fans have been clamoring for the promotions of Dylan Cease and Luis Robert all season long, and while Collins might be a little further down in the rankings than those two, this should still please fans who, even in a season filled with positives, want to see a more rapid advancement toward the rebuild’s ultimate goal.

Collins will perhaps benefit from a lack of pressure, what with James McCann in the midst of a potentially All-Star season as the White Sox primary catcher. The White Sox could perhaps continue to lean on McCann, allowing Collins to ease into the major leagues.

But just like Michael Kopech last August and Eloy Jimenez in March, Collins’ mere arrival is a step forward in this process, one that should please fans immensely.

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Yoan Moncada continues battle with back issues

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USA TODAY

Yoan Moncada continues battle with back issues

Yoan Moncada's battle with his back issues might not be as over as we thought.

The third baseman made his return to the White Sox starting lineup Sunday following a four-game layoff due to a mild back strain. But his return didn't last long. After a fourth-inning strikeout in his second plate appearance of the 10-3 loss to the visiting New York Yankees, Moncada was removed from the game with what the team announced as upper back tightness.

Moncada is described as day to day. The White Sox have an off day Monday ahead of the start of a two-game Crosstown series at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night.

"He's doing good. I think I'm not the only one who noticed his grimace in the swing. It made no sense to continue to expose him to that," manager Rick Renteria said after Sunday's game. "All indications are he should be ready to go on Tuesday.

"Didn't seem to put him in any predicament. Hopefully it didn't set him back. All indications are that hopefully he'll be back on Tuesday."

Moncada was removed from Monday's game against the Washington Nationals with what was initially described as back spasms. Renteria updated the verbiage to a back strain in the following days. Moncada missed Tuesday's game against the Nationals, went through a Wednesday off day and then missed the first three games of the four-game weekend set with the Yankees. His return lasted all of four innings Sunday before he was taken out again.

"Just watching the swing, watching the finish, which is what I was concerned with, getting through the ball. He's ready to get through the ball, it's just the finish. He's feeling a little something there," Renteria said. "You can't replicate it in any drill work. We've tried to do it. Everything he did was good. All the work he did was good.

"Everything we tried to do to replicate it, it wasn't existent until you get into the game, then you know. That's why I think it was a good — I don't know if you want to call it a test, but it was a test. We wanted to see where he was at. Didn't make any sense to continue to push him. Get him ready and calm it down and get him ready for the series against the North Siders."

Moncada wasn't the only White Sox hitter removed from Sunday's game. Welington Castillo, who was the designated hitter, was taken out with what the team announced as lower back tightness. Renteria confirmed after the game that Castillo's injury came on his swing in the second inning, a line drive off the center-field wall that ended up as only a single. Castillo will be reevaluated during the off day Monday.

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