White Sox’ Brent Morel getting comfy at third, in lineup
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org June 15, 2011 10:48PM
Updated: August 3, 2011 10:03PM
MINNEAPOLIS — Two and a half months into his first full season, rookie third baseman Brent Morel is finding his way.
“I’m feeling more comfortable day by day,’’ Morel said Wednesday. “Last year gave me a little taste, and then I went into spring training competing [for a starting job], and now that I’m here, I’m getting to know my way around.
‘‘I’m just taking it day by day and having fun.’’
Morel was the guy the White Sox wanted at third all along, citing his solid defense and what was projected to be a strong lineup one through eight.
When one through eight became three or four guys pulling their weight during April and May, Morel felt pressure to pick up the slack.
That’s a lot to ask of a 24-year-old who had hit .231 in 65 at-bats in 2010.
“Oh, yeah, for sure, the way this team is set up, it’s going to score a lot of runs when it’s going good,’’ Morel said. “At the beginning, our whole team was struggling, and I felt pressure on me to stay in the lineup — I shouldn’t have, but it’s hard not to feel that pressure.
‘‘It makes it a lot easier when everybody is going good. You slide under the radar.’’
Morel is batting .316 (25-for-79) in his last 26 games, raising his average from .187 to .253. That’s more in line with what he has in mind to contribute offensively.
“They want me to go out there and play good defense and go through my ups and downs defensively, but I have my own goals to contribute to the team,’’ Morel said.
Morel has six errors, second only to shortstop Alexei Ramirez’s 10.
All of those came in Morel’s first 27 games, and he hasn’t made an error in his last 20.