New Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura has mostly kept his Opening Day lineup close to the vest for much of Spring Training, with the South Siders breaking camp after defeating the Houston Astros on Tuesday night, Ventura is starting to let us know what his Sox will look like when they take on the Texas Rangers on Friday. We already knew designated hitter Adam Dunn would hit third and first baseman Paul Konerko would hit fourth, and now we know who will be hitting behind them and infront of them.
Third baseman Brent Morel will hit second, while longtime catcher A.J. Pierzynski will hit sixth.
The decision to hit Morel so high in the order might strike some as curious. Here's Comcast SportsNet's J.J. Stankevitz breaking down the first part of Morel's 2011:
Through Morel's first 117 plate appearances last year, he didn't take a walk. He had a .237 batting average and a .566 OPS with just one home run. Morel took his first walk of the season on Memorial Day, and then proceeded to walk once in the months of June and July. His OPS wallowed below .600 through the end of August, although he showed signs of improvement toward the end of the month, taking three walks after Aug. 20.
He also hit eight homers and finished with a .893 OPS in September. As Stankevitz notes, Morel also finished with 15 walks in his last 103 plate appearances.
In Spring Training, Morel hit .317, but again showed an aversion to walks.
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