White Sox

White Sox: Hitting, timing 'most important' part of Justin Morneau's rehab

White Sox: Hitting, timing 'most important' part of Justin Morneau's rehab

Timing is everything when it comes to Justin Morneau’s rehab assignment.

The White Sox veteran said on a conference call on Tuesday that his elbow responded well after he went 0-for-2 as the designated hitter in his season debut at Triple-A Charlotte on Monday. He’s scheduled for three more plate appearances as the Knights’ DH on Wednesday. As of now, Morneau isn’t sure when he’ll appear in the field because offense is the priority.

“We’re going to see how everything goes, but I think the hitting and the timing is the most important thing right now,” Morneau said. “We’ll try and get as many at-bats as many days in a row. The more first I play, the more days off I might need in between now. Right now it’s see how many at-bats I can get and see how quick I can get that timing down.”

Morneau -- who had elbow surgery in December -- had been working out with the team for the past few weeks. That stretch included nine days of batting practice. Morneau traveled on the last two White Sox road trips to get adjusted to his new teammates as best he could in the middle of the season.

He suggested he’d probably need somewhere between 20-30 plate appearances on a rehab assignment to feel right at the plate. While he may be able to attain that by the end of the week, manager Robin Ventura isn’t sure Morneau would be ready for the start of the second half.

“That’s very optimistic,” Ventura said. “You’re hoping he can get through it, get the timing back and that he feels good about it. That’s the biggest thing. You don’t want to rush it if it’s not the right time. He’ll know. It was good for him to be with us and be around the guys, around the game and the speed of the game. His timing, it’s always going to be up to him when he’s ready.”

One aspect of Monday’s debut that surprised Morneau -- “it was a lot more adrenaline than I thought there was going to be, which was nice,” he said. Morneau said his elbow responded well and reported no issues. While he didn’t hit the ball out of the infield in two at-bats, results aren’t of importance.

“The timing is the most important thing,” Morneau said. “You know, see pitches. The results at this point I’m not too worried about that. Obviously it’s nice to get hits, but to feel good and feel like you’re on time and feel like you’re able to catch up to the fastest pitch is really what you want to feel right now.”

Baseball Night in Chicago Podcast: Yu Darvish earns first win as a Cub, Reynaldo Lopez earns first win of the season

darvish_reynaldo.jpg
USA TODAY

Baseball Night in Chicago Podcast: Yu Darvish earns first win as a Cub, Reynaldo Lopez earns first win of the season

Bill Melton and David Kaplan join Leila Rahimi to discuss the possible fate of where Manny Machado will end up. Plus, they discuss all the firsts: Yu Darvish's first win as a Cub and Reynaldo Lopez's first win of this season.

 

Michael Saunders joins Triple-A Charlotte: A potential addition to White Sox banged-up outfield?

0521-michael-saunders.jpg
USA TODAY

Michael Saunders joins Triple-A Charlotte: A potential addition to White Sox banged-up outfield?

The White Sox could use some help in the outfield.

Did a reinforcement just join Triple-A Charlotte?

Former Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders signed with the White Sox organization Monday, joining up with Charlotte.

Saunders, 31, has parts of nine major league seasons under his belt. Last year, he split time with the Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies, posting a .202/.256/.344 slash line with six homers and 21 RBIs in 73 games.

The year prior he made his as-of-yet only All-Star appearance, slashing .253/.338/.478 with 24 homers in 140 games with the Jays.

The White Sox currently have both Opening Day corner outfielders on the shelf. Avisail Garcia has been on the disabled list for almost a month with a hamstring strain, and the team announced over the weekend that Garcia's injury is bad enough that it will likely keep him out until late June. Nicky Delmonico suffered a broken bone in his hand during the recently completed series with the Texas Rangers and will miss four to six weeks.

The White Sox have been giving playing time to Adam Engel, Leury Garcia, Daniel Palka and Trayce Thompson. But Engel and Thompson are both batting under .200, while Palka has an on-base percentage under .300.

So perhaps, with his major league experience, Saunders might make an appearance on the South Side sometime this summer.