Brent Morel’s back acts up; more tests scheduled
BY TONI GINNETTI email@example.com June 9, 2012 11:44PM
Adam Dunn follows the flight of his grand slam in the eighth inning Saturday against the Astros. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times
ASTROS at Sox
The facts: 1:10, CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.
The pitchers: Lucas Harrell (5-4, 4.70 ERA) vs. Philip Humber (2-3, 5.68).
Updated: July 11, 2012 10:29AM
More medical tests are on tap for third baseman Brent Morel , whose back continues to bother him.
‘‘They’re not quite sure [what’s wrong], so they’re going to do more in-depth testing to figure out what’s really going on,’’ White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘The first thing is to figure out what’s going on. Seeing the way he was in spring training to the way the start of the season was — to me, that was more the issue. We have to figure out what it is first, then kind of find your way back after that.’’
Morel, 24, was on rehab assignment with Class AAA Charlotte on Thursday when he pulled himself from a game at Toledo. He had played in eight games, going 8-for-30, before experiencing the new discomfort.
Morel has been on the disabled list since May 18.
The health front seemed to improve Saturday with good news on left-hander John Danks (left shoulder strain) and outfielder Dayan Viciedo, who left Friday’s game because of tightness in both hamstrings.
Danks threw one more side session Saturday and is on track to pitch Tuesday for Charlotte in Columbus, Ohio.
‘‘Things seem to be going well,’’ pitching coach Don Cooper said. ‘‘[Trainer Herm Schneider] has him on the mend, and now it’s just getting him in pitching shape. We don’t get too far ahead of ourselves. He pitches Tuesday, and we’ll take it from there.’’
Viciedo didn’t start Saturday, but that was more of a precaution, Ventura said.
‘‘I don’t want to push it,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘If a guy feels he needs to pull himself, I don’t necessarily want to put him right back in there the next day.’’
Viciedo said he felt tightness, more in the left leg than the right, but was improving with treatment.
‘‘It’s something I’m working through,’’ Viciedo said. ‘‘We’re just being cautious.’’
Viciedo’s condition opened the way for Jordan Danks’ first major-league start. The younger brother of John Danks got his first major-league hit Friday night.
‘‘Watching him last year [in the minors] and seeing him progress and what he did in spring training, he’s a great outfielder,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘Offensively, he’s improved.’’
Danks, 25, said playing in the major-league spring-training camp the last three years has helped him get acclimated. ‘‘I feel like I belong,’’ he said.
As John Danks improves, a decision looms on Jose Quintana, the rookie left-hander who has been a strong fill-in.
‘‘It’s a good decision,’’ Cooper said. ‘‘We want those decisions to be tough. He’s making his way in the major leagues. This is the stuff that’s great to watch.
‘‘I’m hoping everybody pitches well to make it a real tough decision.’’
Quintana (1-1, 2.05 ERA) will start again Tuesday in St. Louis.