Vaughn trying to learn and earn more playing with Sox
The White Sox think the world of Andrew Vaughn, even though he was batting .143 (2-for-14) heading into Tuesday night's game against the Indians.
"We're not trying to develop him," manager Tony La Russa said. "He's ready to help us and I think he'll be able to help us."
Vaughn has been little help as of late, mainly because the 23-year-old rookie has been in the starting lineup only one time on the last five games.
His status will change on Wednesday and Thursday, when Vaughn is scheduled to start either in left field or designated hitter. He could also give Jose Abreu a break at first base if needed.
La Russa said Vaughn will "get quite a bit of playing time" on the Sox's upcoming road trip to Boston and Cleveland.
Expected to be the regular DH to open the season, Vaughn's situation changed late in spring training when Eloy Jimenez went down with a ruptured left pectoral tendon.
A natural first baseman, Vaughn is making a challenging transition to left field. La Russa believes he's more than capable of playing the position.
"In my opinion, if you watch his breaks on balls I think he's an above average left fielder," La Russa said. "To me, the average left fielder is the one you expect to catch in a certain radius. His defensive work is above that."
Vaughn would likely have started a few early games at DH, but red-hot Yermin Mercedes has gotten the bulk of those at-bats.
Juggling the lineup gets bench players like Nick Williams and Jake Lamb needed innings. In time, Vaughn could claim a more regular role.
"I think the way it's supposed to work in the big leagues, unless you're a club that's is truly really building for the future, you earn your spot on the roster and that's what Andrew did," La Russa said. "It's just like Dylan Cease did and (Carlos) Rodon did and (Michael) Kopech did. And then you earn your at-bats."