Breaking News Bar
updated: 3/19/2013 10:37 PM

Bad backs have plagued White Sox in recent years

Success - Article sent! close

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Year in and year out, the White Sox are always one of the healthiest teams in major-league baseball.

That's a tribute to head trainer Herm Schneider, who is now in his 35th season with the Sox, assistant trainer Brian Ball (13th season) and director of conditioning Allen Thomas, who has been with the organization for 19 years.

In recent years, bad backs have been a bugaboo for the White Sox' staff.

Schneider and Co. have spent long hours working with players like Joe Crede, Jim Thome, Mark Kotsay and Brent Morel.

But unlike creaky arms, tight hamstrings and off-line obliques, backs are tough to get healthy.

Tyler Flowers returned to the Sox' lineup Tuesday after a bout with lower back stiffness.

While admitting he felt better, Flowers was a bit concerned.

"It was a little more than your standard aches and pains," he said.

Flowers said he doesn't remember tweaking anything swinging the bat or playing defense.

"I don't recall one specific thing," he said. "I just kind of woke up with it. I was pretty dehydrated in that game (against the Angels last Thursday), so I was dealing with some cramping and stuff that night. When I woke up in the morning it was pretty tight, stiff and painful."

Flowers looked good in Tuesday's exhibition loss to Cincinnati, going 1-for-4 with a double while catching 6 innings.

Morel moved out:

The White Sox made five roster moves Tuesday, with Brent Morel being the most notable name on the list.

Morel, who along with right-handed pitcher Deunte Heath was optioned to Class AAA Charlotte, was the Sox' opening-day third baseman last season before going down with a back injury.

In 18 Cactus League games this spring, Morel batted .216 with 2 home runs and 3 RBI.

"He came in here and looks fine," manager Robin Ventura said of Morel. "It's just not a fit for us right now. That's the disappointing part. You try to mix him in at other spots. It just wasn't going to be a fit. If anything happens, you feel comfortable bringing him up to fill a hole."

Morel played some shortstop this spring, but Ventura said he'll stick with third and first base at Charlotte.

Jeff Keppinger has been bothered by some shoulder soreness this spring, but he looked good playing third base Tuesday.

Barring an unexpected trade, Keppinger is likely to open the season at third base with another newcomer, Conor Gillaspie, backing him up.

Sanchez sent down:

In addition to Morel and Heath, infielder Carlos Sanchez and pitchers Daniel Moskos and Zach Stewart were reassigned to minor-league camp.

Sanchez established himself as one of the Sox' top prospects last season while batting a combined .323 at Charlotte, AA Birmingham and A Winston-Salem. He can also play second base, third and shortstop.

Sanchez is only 20 years old, so the Sox obviously feel he needs more time to develop.

"He is young and coming up there," manager Robin Ventura said. "I think it's time for him to get regular at-bats and play. Bringing him with us, at his age you want him to play and not sit on the bench and play sporadically. You send him down and let him play."

Get articles sent to your inbox.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.