White Sox

Vaughn adds right field to impressive defensive resume

White Sox

Before Opening Day, Andrew Vaughn had never played the outfield in organized baseball.

But after Eloy Jiménez suffered a months-long injury in March, it was Vaughn to the rescue in left field.

Thursday night, the rookie started in right field for the second time this season and put on a show, a bright spot in the Chicago White Sox 3-2 loss.

The highlight of his night, defensively, came in the sixth inning when Vaughn made a superhero-like catch, robbing Kansas City Royals third baseman Emmanuel Rivera of at least an RBI double.

"He's an athlete," White Sox starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel said. "I always say let the athletes play.

"More times than not, he's going to make some plays out there for you. Tonight was no different. I was very thankful for that catch. But we don't expect anything less than a really good showing from Andrew just because of how good he is as an athlete."

With Jiménez returning to left field Friday against the Chicago Cubs, it's helpful to the White Sox moving forward that Vaughn continues to show his versatility all over the field.

"The reason he played right today is ... assuming that when Eloy gets to the park tomorrow, he’s good to play left field," White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. "That creates the opportunity if you are going to write Andrew in there, which I think I will, he’ll play right field. And I didn’t think it was smart to send him out there without at least one game.

 

"It’s amazing how well he’s played in the outfield."

RELATED: How White Sox will use Eloy Jiménez, noted Cub-killer, at Wrigley

Vaughn saw a little time at third base last month and had a good game in a surprising start at second base last week in Kansas City. He showed off some of that athleticism by fielding a grounder and flipping the ball from his glove to shortstop Danny Mendick for a double play.

"It was super unexpected," Vaughn said Thursday of that play in Missouri. "I thought I was actually going to take it myself, and I heard Mendy shouting, 'Flip, flip, flip,' so I just kind of flung it out of my glove and he got it."

Throughout his rookie season, Vaughn has given La Russa the confidence to write him in the lineup, no matter the position.

"You've just got to show up every single day and put your work in if you're in the lineup in a certain spot," Vaughn said. "Just do your job and be there and help the team win anyway you can.

"If it's DH, left field, right field, don't matter."

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