Lefties, not injury, keeping Morneau out of lineup

Lefties, not injury, keeping Morneau out of lineup

MINNEAPOLIS -- Justin Morneau sat out his second straight game in Sunday's series finale against the Twins at Target Field. But the White Sox designated hitter has no current physical issues keeping him out of action.

"He's OK," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "We flirted with the idea of having him play first base, but the more you realize it's better to have him DH. And he's been swinging it and getting on base a lot.

"There are times he needs a break as well and this seemed to be the best time to do it with a couple lefties. He'll be back in there tomorrow."

Morneau has a .260 average with five homers and 19 RBIs over 146 at-bats since returning from extensive rehab work related to offseason surgery on his left elbow. Ventura appreciates Morneau's professional approach at the plate, but he also understands he raced back to get into action as quickly as he did this season.

"He was going against the clock," Ventura said. "Even though you work out, he didn't have Spring Training. He didn't have little things the normal player that prepares wouldn't be going through. He's done a lot of sprints that can wear on you.

 "You wake up when you're a baseball player around 35, and you do a lot of sprinting when you're not used to it, you wake up and just feel things you normally don't. And that's a good thing for him, it means he's getting on base."

Morneau's RBI triple

More callups undecided

Triple-A Charlotte entered Sunday's contest with a 64-78 record but sat a mere half-game behind International League South leader Gwinnett. The two teams have two games remaining in Charlotte to close out the regular season, with Monday marking the finale.

Charlotte's push for the playoffs could impact the White Sox decision on further callups.

"I'll let you know when we get around to it, when we figure out who that is," Ventura said. "We'll probably get another infielder, maybe another pitcher."

The Rookie-level Great Falls Voyagers, guided by manager Tommy Thompson, pitching coach Matt Zaleski and hitting coach Willie Harris, reached the Pioneer League playoffs by winning the North division in the second half.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.