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Brent Morel reinjures his back during rehab stint in minors

HoustAstros v Chicago White Sox

Houston Astros v Chicago White Sox

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TOday

ASTROS at Sox

The facts: 3:10, Ch. 9, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.

The pitchers: Jordan Lyles (1-1, 4.97 ERA) vs. Chris Sale (7-2, 2.30).

Updated: July 10, 2012 6:09AM



Third baseman Brent Morel has suffered a setback in trying to rebound from a lower-back strain.

“There’s something else going on there [in his back] so it’s a setback,’’ White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.

Morel had been playing with Class AAA Charlotte in eight games after going on the disabled list retroactively to May 18. His injury was diagnosed as a lumbar back strain. Morel went 8-for-30 in eight games before reinjuring himself Thursday night.

Morel pulled himself from the game and was returning to Chicago to be evaluated.

Morel had said he was confident his problem wasn’t serious and was told it could be eased with a special workout routine. But his condition immediately was reminiscent of former Sox third baseman Joe Crede, who experienced recurring back problems and three surgeries during his career.

Ventura said Orlando Hudson, acquired May 22 after being released by the San Diego Padres, and Eduardo Escobar will continue to fill in at third.

Learning curve

Hudson has had “on the job’’ training playing third for the first time in his career.

“I’m scuffling, but I’m just trying to catch it and throw to first base,’’ he said. “It’s not pretty, but I’m trying.’’

Hudson had several mental lapses on the field Thursday ­before hitting a game-winning single in the ninth.

“He’s a middle infielder and now he’s [at third],’’ Ventura said of the former Gold Glove second baseman. “There are things that are happening that he’s not used to.

“It’s a learning process, and you try to bring him up to speed as fast as you can. You can only teach so much and some of it has to be the experience of being out there and doing it. I expect him to be better, now that he’s gone through that.’’

Good as gold

Ventura won an Olympic gold medal playing for Team USA in the 1988 Games in Seoul, Korea.

“I know where it is,’’ he said with a smile, after joining the team in presenting Alexei Ramirez a duplicate of the gold medal he won in 2004 playing for team Cuba—but lost in 2007.

“We all know what it meant to him,” Ventura added. “It’s good for him to be able to have that. I think it just symbolizes home for him in a good way, something he dreamed about.

“In Cuba, that’s pretty much the biggest thing they can do baseball-wise.’’



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