Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen spoke yesterday about the Brent Morel vs. Mark Teahen competition at third base.
He said he’s going to wait until the last week or so of spring training to make a decision, maybe even longer. It’s pretty clear at this point that Morel is the favorite to be the team’s third baseman, but it doesn’t knock Teahen out of the running by any means.
Coming into Sunday’s game against the Dodgers, Morel has just three hits in 21 at-bats this spring, but has made no errors in the field.
Teahen has nine hits in 19 at-bats, plus five walks which gives him a .615 on-base percentage. However, he also has five errors in Cactus League play.
Based on how stacked the lineup already is, I’m confident that Morel will win the starting gig and Teahen will get at-bats late in games and maybe wind up in the outfield or at first base from time to time a la Mark Kotsay of 2010 (the team needs an emergency pitcher).
The only problem I foresee there is that it will take up an extra roster spot that would otherwise be vacant if Teahen won the starting job, because Morel would be in the minors getting his full reps at third and at the plate.
This decision could have major repercussions for the pitching staff (which might go with 11 pitchers instead of 12) or someone like Brent Lillibridge who could be a backup infielder along with Omar Vizquel, but might be relegated to the minors or used as trade bait if Morel wins the job.
Ozzie also mentioned that he’s nowhere close to a decision on the closer role, but that’s a much different competition because there are so many plus-arms to choose from – a great problem to have.