White Sox

Viciedo not worried about replacing Quentin

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Viciedo not worried about replacing Quentin

Over his four seasons with the White Sox, Carlos Quentin averaged 27 home runs and 80 RBIs a season with an .857 OPS. That's a good level of production, but it's one Dayan Viciedo isn't concerned about replacing.

"As far as pressure to try to do what Carlos has done, I don't feel any pressure because for the most part I'm just going to go out there and just do what I've been training to do," Viciedo said through translator Jackson Miranda. "So I feel very comfortable and I think this is going to be great year for me."

If Viciedo is true to his word and doesn't try to match Quentin's level of production, that's a good thing. A pair of projections have Viciedo hitting 21 home runs with 67-75 RBIs and an OPS between .759 and .779, numbers Quentin eclipsed in every season but his injury-riddled 2009.

But that's one area that Viciedo perhaps can eclipse Quentin: playing time. Quentin never played more than 131 games in a season while in Chicago and only averaged 495 plate appearances per season. Over the last three seasons, Viciedo has averaged 542 plate appearances per season between Birmingham, Charlotte and Chicago.

A healthy Viciedo will have every opportunity to improve on his power numbers, too. For all his power potential, he's averaged just 19 home runs over the last three years. But that's something Viciedo isn't concerned about, either.

"I'm going to focus on making contact, getting some RBIs and getting people in. That's the most important thing to me," Viciedo said. "I have the strength to hit home runs, so I'm confident the home runs will come."

Viciedo also said he's not bitter about not being called up earlier in 2011 when the White Sox offense was scuffling and he was clobbering Triple-A pitching.

"I feel that, wherever they put me, that's where I'm supposed to be, I'm just going to do the best that I can at those positions," Viciedo said. "I feel that at that previous year, it just wasn't my time, but this is my year and I'm just going to do the best and take advantage of it."

Luis Robert leaves Arizona Fall League game with injury

Luis Robert leaves Arizona Fall League game with injury

White Sox prospect Luis Robert headed to the Arizona Fall League to get more playing time after injuries limited to 50 games in 2018.

He just got hurt in the Arizona Fall League.

Robert is playing with the Glendale Desert Dogs in the AFL and left Friday's game with an injury.

It's not clear what the injury was, but Robert walked off on his own power. He also has pulled out of the Bowman Hitting Challenge (a modified home run derby) that will take place Saturday.

Robert, the No. 4 White Sox prospect and No. 44 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was 1-for-3 in Friday's game before exiting. He has hit safely in all four games in the AFL, going 5-for-17 (.294) with a walk and three strikeouts, but no extra base hits.

The 21-year-old is the third youngest player on the team and the AFL is a respected offseason league for prospects. A good showing from Robert would be a sign that he is beginning to develop his talent into playable tools.

The injury could be minor so no need to ring the alarm bells yet, but the AFL season is barely more than a month long. Even a short-term injury could prevent him from making up for some of the lost playing time from the 2018 minor league season.

Sonny Gray is available: Could he be a one-year stopgap for the White Sox?

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USA TODAY

Sonny Gray is available: Could he be a one-year stopgap for the White Sox?

The White Sox have a hole or two to plug in their starting rotation. Could Sonny Gray be an answer?

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday that he's looking to trade Gray away from the Bronx this winter.

Gray isn't as attractive an add as he was a few years back, when he was coming off a sensational 2015 campaign that saw him post a 2.73 ERA and log 208 innings. He went to the All-Star Game and finished third in the AL Cy Young vote that year.

Since, he's been less successful. He made just 22 starts with the Oakland Athletics in 2016 and had a 5.69 ERA. The following season, he started with a strong 3.43 ERA in 16 starts for the A's before the midseason trade that sent him to the Yankees, where he made 11 starts with a 3.72 ERA. This season didn't go too well, earning Gray a move to the bullpen. He finished with a 4.90 ERA in 30 games, only 23 of those being starts. He threw just 29.1 innings over his final 10 appearances of the season, three of which were starts. He had a 5.26 ERA with 50 walks in 113 innings as a starter in 2018.

Those numbers won't leap off the page (in a positive way) for anyone, but there's no doubt that a potential deal for Gray would be a low-risk move for the White Sox. For a team looking to add 40 percent of a starting rotation, being able to do so cheaply — be it from a dollar or prospect standpoint — would be a good thing, especially if the strategy ends up being to simply add one-year fill-ins while Michael Kopech recovers from Tommy John surgery and Dylan Cease makes his way to the major leagues.

However, Gray's 57-walk total from the 2018 season could be something the White Sox would want to stay away from. After all, White Sox pitchers led the AL with 653 walks this season. They also had five of the top 21 walk-issuing pitchers in the Junior Circuit: Lucas Giolito led the league with 90, James Shields was third with 78, Reynaldo Lopez was fifth with 75, Hector Santiago was 15th with 60, and Carlos Rodon was 21st with 55. Gray slotted in right ahead of Rodon.

But Gray has obviously produced results in the past, and whether the White Sox are looking to simply plug the holes in the 2019 staff or potentially find a sign-and-flip candidate for the 2019 trade deadline — he's slated to hit free agency after the 2019 season — Gray could fit that bill. One thing's for sure: He's available.