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posted: 5/19/2012 9:32 PM

Morel's back pain forcing Sox to make a move

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  • With Brent Morel likely headed to the disabled list, the White Sox are set to sign Orlando Hudson, who was just released by San Diego.

      With Brent Morel likely headed to the disabled list, the White Sox are set to sign Orlando Hudson, who was just released by San Diego.
    Associated Press

 
 

It might be done before Sunday's series finale against the Cubs. Or, before Tuesday night's home game against the Twins.

While the timing is still uncertain, it looks like White Sox third baseman Brent Morel is headed for the disabled list following another bout with back pain.

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According to a source, the Sox are going to sign veteran infielder Orlando Hudson, who was released by the Padres on Thursday after posting a hitting line of .211/.260/.317.

Hudson, 34, is still owed $5.85 million, which is San Diego's responsibility. The White Sox would only have to pay Hudson the prorated portion of the $480,000 major-league minimum.

In addition to his age and subpar offensive stats this season, "O-Dog" has played second base during his 11-year career. Hudson is a four-time Gold Glove winner, but he's never played third base.

Do the Sox move Gordon Beckham from second base back to third and create a spot for Hudson? That would seem unlikely.

Do they just let Hudson figure out third base? Possibly.

And what about Dan Johnson?

He's a natural first baseman, but Johnson has been playing third base for Class AAA Charlotte all week and he made his fifth start at the position Saturday night.

Johnson also entered the game with a .301 batting average and led Charlotte with 9 home runs and 34 RBI.

It is an interesting situation, and not a good one for Morel.

This is Morel's second stint with back pain in a week, and the problem stems from a bulging disc.

Morel was feeling better after getting a cortisone shot on May 10, but the discomfort came back during batting practice at Wrigley Field on Friday.

"It's tough," a somber Morel said Saturday. "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."

Morel is 4-for-30 over his last 10 games and is batting .177 overall.

Eduardo Escobar started at third base for the White Sox in the first two games against the Cubs.

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