If there is a happier player in major-league baseball than White Sox outfielder Dayan Viciedo, the search party is still out.
Viciedo always has a smile on his face, whether he is hitting mammoth home runs or striking out multiple times in a game.
Contact information ( * required )
But his future with the Sox is in serious jeopardy as he nears the end of his second subpar season.
Viciedo looked like a long-term answer in the middle of the order when he got his first extended look with the White Sox in 2012 and responded with 25 home runs and 78 RBI in 147 games.
But the 25-year-old outfielder slipped to 14 homers and 56 RBI last season and hasn't been much better this year.
After Alejandro De Aza was traded to the Orioles Saturday, Viciedo was freed from his platoon role in left field, but not for long.
Michael Taylor and Jordan Danks were brought up from Class AAA Charlotte when rosters were eligible for September expansion Tuesday, and Viciedo was held out of the starting lineup in the series opener against the Twins.
He has big power, without a doubt, but Viciedo is also prone to lengthy slumps sparked by big swings and high strikeout totals.
Viciedo seemed to respond to the latest challenge, specifically posed by Taylor's arrival, and he hit a solo home run in Tuesday's win at Minnesota and followed up a 2-run shot (No. 19) against the Twins Wednesday night.
If he does return to the Sox for another season, Viciedo could be the designated hitter considering his below-average defense in the outfield.
"There's certain people that have that kind of power. He has it," White Sox manager Robin Ventura told reporters. "Has it been as consistent as we want it? No, but it's there. That's what makes him, makes people, look at him and they wonder if he can find it or harness it or make it better.
"Once he starts struggling, he thinks harder is better. It's kind of like more is better and it's really not. If he shortened up and got a little more handsy, instead of just the way he swings with his shoulders, he would be better. It's easier said than done. His natural instinct is to swing hard."
Taylor is getting a look over the final month after being acquired from the Oakland A's in June 14 minor-league trade.
The 6-foot-5, 256-pounder was once considered a big-time prospect with the Athetics but he never panned out.
Before joining the White Sox Tuesday, Taylor batted a combined .275 with 11 home runs and 69 RBI for Charlotte and AAA Sacramento.
"A few years ago, he had tremendous upside," Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "It just hasn't clicked for him just yet. We'd like to take a little time this month to see what's there."