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Ventura remains patient with Beckham, Morel

Ventura remains patient with Beckham, Morel

Ventura remains patient with Beckham, Morel
CHICAGO -- Support for struggling White Sox infielders Gordon Beckham and Brent Morel continued to come in Tuesday from manager Robin Ventura.

But as the calendar turns from April to May and with Morel (.182) and Beckham (.190) sitting a few games of consistent hitting below the Mendoza line, even following Beckham's three-hit effort in Tuesday's 7-2 victory over the Indians, that unconditional support from Ventura soon might be slightly altered.

"Eventually you probably have to do something," said Ventura before the series opener with the Indians. "Right now I'm believing what I see and talking to them.

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"I want to know what they're thinking, too. I'm still confident they're going to perform. Eventually it gets to the point where you would have to make a move if it would stay like that, but right now I'm not going to do that."

A few factors work in favor of the Beckham/Morel tandem staying put, starting with their stellar defense. There also doesn't appear to be a clear-cut favorite for everyday replacements, although Ventura believes options exist.

"Yeah. I think so," Ventura said. "But I haven't looked that far down the road."

Brent Lillibridge and Eduardo Escobar have the ability to play both second and third, but they make the team stronger in a utility role. Ventura requested an extended Spring Training look at Tyler Saladino, who was then promoted to big league camp and is now hitting .253 as the shortstop for Double-A Birmingham. Drew Garcia, the club's 21st-round selection in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, is hitting .316 as a middle infielder for the Barons, while Tyler Kuhn could be a candidate at Triple-A Charlotte.

All of these names are pure speculation, with a corresponding roster move needed to add any of them. Ultimately, the best team option is for Beckham and Morel to stop pressing and start hitting, as they showed signs of on Tuesday.

"They do a lot of good things defensively, and for me, that's a plus," said Ventura, who had a much-publicized 0-for-41 stretch in his rookie campaign. "It's not easy to hit, and it's especially not easy to hit when every little thing is scrutinized. They have to get to that point that they don't care about that and it'll turn around for them."

"I want them to do well," said Lillibridge, who simply tries to be ready to play and not analyze where opportunities might occur. "Their confidence has to be there, and hopefully this series, a new month, however you want to break it down, gets them right and they start swinging the bats. We need them at the bottom to get on base for the guys swinging the bats well and carrying this team."

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