CHICAGO -- With Brent Morel and Paul Konerko out of action, the White Sox entered Saturday's game against the Cubs having just 11 healthy position players. Brent Lillibridge and Tyler Flowers provide a little versatility defensively off the bench, but manager Robin Ventura indicated that he may have to go to a pitcher in a pinch-hit role this weekend.
"We might have a couple of pitchers take some batting practice," Ventura said. "We'll be creative today. [Gavin] Floyd is a pretty good hitter. He'd be available if we need something."
When reporters looked at Ventura in some disbelief, he stressed that Floyd legitimately could be a hitting possibility.
"I'm serious," Ventura said. "Floyd is the No. 1 Draft pick, fantasy league."
Konerko to return once swelling subsides
CHICAGO -- White Sox first baseman and captain Paul Konerko looked like a fighter who absorbed a few too many shots to the left side of his face when he talked to the media prior to Saturday's game at Wrigley Field.But Konerko, who passed all tests for possible breaks and post-concussion symptoms, feels fortunate the ugly black eye and ensuing swelling that has his eye partially closed was the worst of the deal from getting hit with a Jeff Samardzija splitter in the third inning of Friday's 3-2 victory.
As soon as Konerko can see without "something in the way," he'll be back on the field."I feel good. It's obviously a black eye, swollen," Konerko said. "It's just a matter of getting the swelling down. There's no damage, no fractures, no problems with vision, other than just kind of seeing the swelling when I look out. So as soon as we get that out of the way, I'll be good to go.
"Anytime you get hit up high, everything happens kind of fast and it kind of blew up kind of quick. So when I was looking out, within 5-10 seconds my vision was obstructed by the swelling. But when it first happens like that you're thinking something is wrong with your actual vision, which is a different story. So luckily it wasn't that. It's just a nice black eye."
Konerko felt as if he was all right by the time he got up off the field and walked up the stairs to the clubhouse, knowing that it was the swelling blocking his vision and not anything wrong with his eye. The pitch hit the visor of the helmet first, as Konerko heard the helmet and then felt the ball.
That black eye also is going to get him a little bit of ribbing from his teammates.
"This is one of those ones that you definitely hear about it a little bit," Konerko said. "It happened to [Gordon] Beckham last year on a play in the field and we worked him over for a while.
"I'm probably going to be back out there playing long before it all goes away, too. It'll probably hang around for a few weeks where you can still see remnants of it. You definitely get guys asking why you couldn't play today or why I came out of the game. Calling me soft and stuff like that. That's just the way it is when you play for a team."
Don't look for Konerko to wear any sort of protective shield when he comes back, which could be as early as Tuesday against the Twins, with manager Robin Ventura all but ruling him out of Sunday's contest. As for Samardzija, Konerko had not talked to him after being struck by a splitter that chased him up and in and "unraveled kind of into me."
"He seems fine," said Ventura of Konerko, who is hitting a team-best .367 with eight homers and 23 RBIs. "He would want to play if he could see. He's doing fine."
Hudson expected to serve as backup infielder
CHICAGO -- Infielder Orlando Hudson, who was released on May 17 by the Padres, has
agreed to terms with the White Sox but has not signed officially, according to a source close to the situation. MLB.com's Peter Gammons first reported Hudson joining the White Sox earlier Saturday evening.
Hudson, 34, will be playing for his fifth team since 2008 and brings a .276 career average and .343 on-base percentage. Hudson will play some third base and back up Gordon Beckham at second base, having turned down a chance to play regularly elsewhere in order to join the White Sox in this role.
In 1,294 career games over 11 seasons, the switch-hitting Hudson has played no other defensive position but second base. He hit .211 over 123 at-bats for the Padres this past season.
Morel sidelined by nagging back pain
CHICAGO -- After receiving a cortisone shot during a White Sox off-day on May 10, Brent Morel reported his back pain and tightness feeling considerably better. That pain returned enough over the past two days to have Morel scratched from Friday's lineup and most likely leave him inactive for the entire weekend unless there's an emergency situation.
"Yeah, when I bend and rotate and everything," said Morel of when his back hurts. "I don't know what happened [after the shot]. Just, it felt good for three days there and kind of took about two days to get back to where it is today."
Morel also had a MRI, which showed a bulging disk that he was told would not require surgery. He said that there are a few things being played with to try to get him healthy but the disabled list is a possibility.
This recurring injury to Morel is a contributing factor to the White Sox agreeing to terms with veteran utility infielder Orlando Hudson.
"I don't know if we're going to take the weekend off and then Monday [an off-day], so it's four days and go from there," Morel said. "We're just waiting to see.
"It's tough. I was starting to feel good and swing hard and felt normal for a couple days there and then it's right back to where it is now. Hopefully, it's something I can fix and play the rest of the year being fine."
Third to first
When A.J. Pierzynski hit a home run off Ryan Dempster in the top of the third inning during Saturday's 7-4 victory over the Cubs, the White Sox catcher waved to the stands after he crossed home plate. But Pierzynski simply was waving to his wife, son and daughter, who flew in this weekend for the series.
"My son was telling me to hit a home run, I did and was waving at him," Pierzynski said. "Nothing toward Cubs fans or Sox fans, just something between me and my family. It was a nice moment for me and my family."
White Sox starters have allowed just three runs on 13 hits over their last three games, covering 18 innings pitched.
The White Sox are 19-4 in their last 23 Interleague road games and 52-22 in Interleague Play since 2008, which is baseball's best record during that time.
Saturday's win clinched the club's first series victory in its last nine, having gone 0-5-3 in the previous eight.