CHICAGO -- Brent Morel knocked out three hits during a 6-3 White Sox victory over Detroit on July 25. For his solid effort, the rookie third baseman sat for the next three games before starting three straight.
While Morel has looked steadily more comfortable at the plate as the season has progressed, hitting .250 with 17 RBIs entering Tuesday's contest against the Yankees, manager Ozzie Guillen remains careful with his usage. He's looking for the best matchups with Morel, which the infielder seems to understand.
"I know we just need to win right now," Morel said. "[Ozzie] is going to put the guys out there giving us the best chance of winning. When I'm in the lineup, hopefully I can just help the team win."
"I'm trying to put this kid in the best spot for him," Guillen said. "If it's a guy that I don't think he can handle very well, I will use Omar [Vizquel]. But he's done what we think he can do. Our offense has been so bad that it doesn't look like the guy contributes, but yes, he does. When the season started, I would have taken .250, .260 out of him [if] he played the way he plays third base."
Vizquel got the starting nod on Tuesday against right-hander Phil Hughes, although Morel hit the ball hard three times against American League Cy Young Award candidate CC Sabathia in Monday's 3-2 loss. Morel feels "a little disappointed" over his entire body of work as a rookie, adding that he had higher hopes for his debut season.
But Morel still isn't sure as to whether he will be more of a run producer or an average hitter when he has a chance to get consistent at-bats. As of now, he's just trying to stay sharp in between starts.
"Right now, I'm still trying to fine-tune my approach and work on having quality at-bats and hopefully keep progressing, at-bat by at-bat," said Morel, who is hitting .265 vs. righties and .224 against lefties. "Wherever I end up, I end up. I'm just looking to go out there and have consistent at-bats.
"I've been doing that lately, so I'm just trying to keep that up when I get in there."