De Aza, Viciedo to share playing time in left field
CHICAGO -- With Alejandro De Aza hitting seventh and right-hander Ricky Nolasco on the mound for the Twins, what looks to be a White Sox platoon with right-handed-hitting Dayan Viciedo officially took shape on Opening Day.
But White Sox general manager Rick Hahn cautioned that playing time in left field will be more merit based than only decided by a righty or lefty on the mound.
"[Manager] Robin [Ventura] is going to fill out the lineup card with options that give him the best chance to win on a given day," Hahn told MLB.com concerning the De Aza/Viciedo split. "Conceivably it breaks down into a straight left-right platoon, but I don't think it's going to be just that simplistic.
"Sometimes the defense is going to factor into it. Sometimes the player's individual history against a pitcher is going to factor into it, as well as physical or clubhouse issues that the world is not privy to could impact who is in the lineup on a given day."
"Again, it's about having talented options for him to choose from," Hahn said. "Not necessarily sticking to set roles."
Viciedo, 25, starts his third full big league season with the White Sox, and he has shown flashes of dominance over the first two. The powerful native of Cuba also has shown maddening inconsistency at the plate in that same timeframe.
Hahn isn't worried about losing a young, talented player such as Viciedo, who still could be part of the growing core where a soon-to-be 30-year-old De Aza might not eventually reside. He's also cognizant that Viciedo remains a work in progress and realizes that the more big league time he has probably translates into better on-field results.
"At the same time, he's going to have to earn those opportunities and show that he's responding to some of the things [hitting coach] Todd [Steverson] is trying to implement from an offensive standpoint in order to get further opportunities," Hahn said. "Dayan had a very good spring. I think De Aza had a great spring.
"Even looking beyond the performance, knowing some of the conversations that took place between Todd and the players, I think Viciedo really gets where we want him now and what we are expecting from him in terms of his approach as an offensive player. He's responded well to that. It's a matter of him executing it in games."
De Aza starred in the club's Opening Day victory over the Twins with two home runs and three RBIs.