By Bruce Levine-
(CBS) It is almost the baseball equivalent of tragedy in the world of sports jargon. The White Sox lost a key young player for the season when it was announced Thursday that outfielder Avisail Garcia will soon have season-ending surgery on his torn labrum in his left shoulder.
The sad ending to the season for Garcia, however is a new opportunity for Dayan Viciedo to redeem himself.
Viciedo had a horrible 2013 season, with a big drop in homers (14 compared to 25 in 2012) and RBIs (56 compared to 78). At one juncture over this past winter and during spring training, Viceido was on the market.
Fellow outfielder Alejandro DeAza was also the subject of numerous trade discussions with Seattle and other teams.
“We value many of our players very highly,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “Unless we feel we are getting equal or better talent back in a deal, we will not react.”
Viciedo has this extended period of time in right field to prove himself one last time to White Sox front office members. To say they have been disappointed in his development would be a massive under statement.
Viciedo is hitting .304 with two RBIs on this young season.
“He was swinging OK for us,” manager Robin Ventura said. “I am going to give him some time in right field. I like him out there for now.”
Ventura likes the fact that Viciedo has played right field before and that he has a prototypical, strong right fielder’s throwing arm.
“I do my adjustments all the time and work hard, but there is nothing I feel have have to prove,” Viciedo said through a team translator.
Maybe Viciedo believes that he has nothing to prove, but his playing time will be based on production at some point — and he understands that.
“You have to take advantage of those opportunities,” Viciedo said. “Opportunities are there every time you come to the plate.”
No timetable for returns of Jones, Beckham
The White Sox injury list changed a bit Thursday as Hahn declared that injured reliever Nate Jones has a lower back issue.
“We had thought it was a glut problem, but it is in his lower back,” Hahn said. “He was given an MRI and an epidural followed that.”
Hahn had no timetable for Jones’ rehab and return. Jones has been hurt since the beginning of spring training.
The same can be said of infielder Gordon Beckham, who re-injured his oblique strain last week. Hahn said Beckham will be shut down for the short term and be re-evaluated soon. Beckham originally injured his side during batting practice on March 14.
Infielder Jeff Keppinger will begin a rehab this week for his injured right shoulder. Keppinger has had a shoulder issue since last season. He wasn’t able to throw at all during spring training.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.