CHICAGO -- At 5-foot-11, 240 pounds, Dayan Viciedo once was thought to have been better suited playing linebacker for the Chicago Bears than third base for the Chicago White Sox.
It didn't matter to the critics how third base was the big man's natural position coming over from Cuba. But there was the 21-year-old Viciedo handling three chances flawlessly at third in Thursday's 2-0 victory over the Braves, looking as if he had played the position more than the 10 times he suited up there for Triple-A Charlotte in the 2010 campaign.
Even a slight bobble from Viciedo on Melky Cabrera's eighth-inning grounder was compensated for with a strong and true throwing arm. But Viciedo has never paid much attention to those who have said he can't handle third and has no problems with being used frequently by the White Sox at the hot corner.
"Whether it's said I can't play third or I don't have what it takes to play third, I feel like I can play third real well, so I pay no mind," said Viciedo through translator and White Sox director of public relations Lou Hernandez. "Despite not having played third base [much] at Triple-A, I feel comfortable and real secure."
Viciedo's biggest contribution to the team will be through his power-packed bat, but he also will have to stay sharp through sporadic playing time. Thursday's effort, which included a sharply hit single, was followed by a return to the bench for Viciedo in Friday's series opener against the Cubs.
Taking extra grounders every day during batting practice is one way Viciedo expects to stay sharp in between starts. If he can be solid in the field and stay as dangerous with the bat as the White Sox witnessed with the Knights, he could be that playoff-push addition without giving up any of the organization's young talent.
"I've got the capabilities to see a lot of our home games for our Triple-A team, the way we have certain things set up," said White Sox general manager Ken Williams of Viciedo. "I told the coaching staff this guy is as dangerous as they come at the plate right now. If he can hold his own defensively over there, there's an asset to add to our lineup that has not been as strong on a day-to-day basis as we thought."
Pierre takes pride in stellar defense
CHICAGO -- Don't confuse Juan Pierre's less-than-overwhelming throwing arm with an inability to play defense. He has not committed an error over 131 chances in left field this season and has turned in a handful of spectacular plays to support the stellar White Sox pitching staff.
Pierre pointed out how this strong defensive showing is nothing new for the leadoff hitter known more for his speed. When he played center field for the Cubs in 2006, Pierre went errorless through 384 chances.
"If you don't watch me every day, you won't notice," said Pierre of his defense. "I always concentrate and take pride in my defense. It was a comment of ours, especially in the National League, where you have to play both sides of the ball."
As for not getting as much attention for his diving catches as he does for his American League-best 27 stolen bases, the unassuming Pierre doesn't seem worried.
"I'm just playing the position," Pierre said. "I never considered myself a bad defensive player."
Floyd's dominance going unrewarded
CHICAGO -- Count Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones as one opposing player surprised by Gavin Floyd's 2-7 record, especially after watching the right-hander two-hit the Braves over seven innings on Thursday.
"I think his only two wins are against National League teams. So that tells me he's 0-7 against the American League," said Jones of Floyd. "With that stuff, it's just a number I don't understand. I know he didn't get the win [Thursday]. But we had just one chance to score off him, and it was impressive."
Floyd actually has one win against the Marlins and one win against the American League, when the White Sox beat Texas on April 29 behind his seven strong innings. During the team's 13-1 run entering Friday's opener against the Cubs, Floyd had suffered the only setback. In that June 13 game, though, Ted Lilly came within three outs of no-hitting the Cubs and Floyd took a no-hitter into the seventh.
An 0.93 ERA produced by Floyd over his past four starts would seem to lead to at least two victories. Unfortunately for Floyd, the White Sox have produced just three runs of support during that time frame.
"He has pitched great his last three starts and doesn't have anything to show for it," White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "I feel bad for Gavin, but it's one of those things that it's just the way it works out."
Ozzie ponders greener pasture in NL
CHICAGO -- With the White Sox posting a Major League-best 14-2 record during Interleague Play, manager Ozzie Guillen came up with a humorous idea during Friday's pregame media session to keep this success rolling in the future.
"Maybe I'm a better manager when we manage in the National League," said Guillen with a laugh. "But I told [White Sox chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf], 'You're very tight with Mr. Selig. Why don't we move to the National League? Make a change.'"
Guillen didn't even mind playing more than the six games per year against the Cubs for that proposed NL move to take effect.
"I'll take that. I know it's going to be good for the city," Guillen said. "No, why don't we just move the Cubs to the American League, and we'll go to the National League. It would be even."
Third to first
CHICAGO -- The White Sox announced on Friday that franchise legend Bill Pierce will be the recipient of the 2010 Roland Hemond Award. He will be presented the award by its namesake, legendary baseball executive and former White Sox general manager Roland Hemond, in a special pregame ceremony at U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday, July 27, when the White Sox play Seattle. ... Bobby Jenks was unavailable for Friday's game, having to leave the ballpark to attend to a family matter ... Gordon Beckham felt a sense of relief after knocking out his first home run since April 11 against Minnesota. "It felt good. It's nice to get that out of the way, I guess," Beckham said. "It has been a couple of months." ... Carlos Quentin has four home runs and 13 RBIs in his last nine games, raising his average to .231 ... White Sox pitchers own a 1.06 ERA in their past six games against the Cubs. The White Sox have won three of four this season, six of their last seven and 10 of the last 13 against the Cubs.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.