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News » Chicago White Sox Notes, Quotes 2009-02-01

Chicago White Sox Notes, Quotes 2009-02-01

Chicago White Sox Notes, Quotes 2009-02-01
--3B/OF Dayan Viciedo, who defected from Cuba last year before signing a free agent deal with the White Sox, is starting to put the concerns about his weight to rest. Viciedo has been working with SS Alexei Ramirez this offseason, and manager Ozzie Guillen likes what he sees from the 19-year-old. "I got great news about the former fat guy," Guillen said with a laugh. "Now he's a big man. He's a strong, big kid. When I saw him the first time, he was overweight, there's no doubt. I talked to (bench coach) Joey Cora, and this kid is going to come to spring training having the big-league club on his mind, and that's good. He says he wants to be on the big-league club. He is going to have all of the opportunities to make the ballclub."

--RHP Bartolo Colon's return to the White Sox rotation has hit a speed bump. General manager Ken Williams revealed recently that Colon underwent surgery in the fall to remove bone chips from his right elbow, a procedure that will keep the big right-hander off the mound when the White Sox open spring training Feb. 15 in Glendale, Ariz. "We'll bring him along in the second half of spring training," Williams said. Colon, 35, signed a one-year, $1 million contract this month that includes an additional $2 million in incentives based on innings. Because of injuries, Colon hasn't made more than 18 starts in a season since 2005, when he won 21 games in 33 starts for the Los Angeles Angels to win the American League Cy Young Award.

--3B Josh Fields could be emerging as a leading candidate to surprise the organization when he reports to spring training in a little more than three weeks. Guillen criticized Fields last season for what Guillen felt were diminishing skills. So after cleanup knee surgery in the fall, Fields made a trip to Florida to work with Guillen and bench coach Joey Cora in preparation for taking over for free agent Joe Crede. His goal? To make sure Guillen can't criticize him -- specifically his defense -- any longer. "I talked to Joey and he said (Fields is) moving better by far than he's ever moved," hitting coach Greg Walker said. "He said we'll be shocked."

--1B Paul Konerko was the subject of trade talks in the early offseason, but now the club is hoping for a big bounce-back season from their team captain in 2009. "I look for a big bounce-back from Paulie," hitting coach Greg Walker said. "He was as mentally strong at the end of the year as I've ever seen him." The numbers back that up. After batting .217 before the All-Star break, Konerko hit .333 in August and .260 the final month, when he had nine of his 22 home runs. He also showed up in the postseason, hitting .313 with two homers in the four-game loss to Tampa Bay.

--It might take until the 11th hour, but the new spring training facility at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz., will be ready when pitchers and catchers report Feb. 15, vice president of stadium operations Terry Savarise said. "Our clubhouses and practice fields will be ready," Savarise said. "Most of the work that will be happening the last two weeks of February is stadium-related." Savarise said the White Sox might do some "fine-tuning" after the spring.

BY THE NUMBERS: 930 -- The number of games the White Sox have played since Greg Walker became the hitting coach. In that time, they have batted .265, scored 4,596 runs and hit a league-best 1,276 home runs.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We have an opportunity to win. Not because we have kids but because we have a good ballclub. Our ballclub should be better this year. Hopefully those guys we have picked to represent us, in April, they will know what they are doing, that this is not a winter league or Single-A. When you come to Chicago, the expectation is to win. No matter what you do, if you are not winning, you are a loser, so the expectations are pretty high." -- Manager Ozzie Guillen on this year's youth movement.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: February 1, 2009

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