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Health dictates Morel's future at third for Sox

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 10:11 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Neither general manager Rick Hahn nor manager Robin Ventura ruled out Brent Morel as a candidate for the Chicago White Sox's third base job as a platoon player -- pending his recovery from a back injury.

"It’s conceivable, but with Brent, let’s see him healthy," Hahn said. "Let’s get him 100 percent. He feels good now, let’s have him go through the off-season, do the work to prepare, then get to Glendale and get through spring healthy. Then we’ll set our expectations for him going forward. A year ago at this time after his September and the defense he played, we thought he was an everyday guy. There’s no less that a healthy Brent Morel can't be that guy, much less a platoon guy."

Morel 25, played in only 34 games because of a bulging disc in his back. But the Sox have monitored Morel's recovery closely.

"They feel with his diligence on the program that this thing is hopefully behind him," Hahn said. "It’s tough with backs. It’s tricky. We’ll have to see through his ramping up, training regimen, baseball activity, and spring training games and regular season games and react accordingly to how he feels."

A platoon system could let Morel ease back into a full-time role that he held in 2011, as well allow the Sox to get a left-handed bat in the lineup, such as possibly free agent switch-hitter Jack Hannahan.

“You go back to him being healthy," Ventura said. "That’s the No. 1 thing for us, to get him in there and see him again. He’s not out of the equation for me at all. Him being healthy and getting back in, he’s a good third baseman when he’s healthy.”

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