CHICAGO -- In just a few weeks since his September callup, third baseman Brent Morel already has earned the "very impressive" tag from White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.
That same sort of praise was not exactly heaped upon fellow third-base candidate Dayan Viciedo when Guillen was asked about his future prior to Sunday's series finale with Detroit. In fact, Guillen doesn't seem to have the power-packed Viciedo firmly in his 2011 plans.
"I don't think Viciedo is ready. That's my opinion," said Guillen of the 21-year-old Cuban. "To play in the big leagues? You see a good couple of at-bats here and there, but to get a good 500 at-bats, I would think about it.
"He's still far away from being here, a year away or maybe two years away. I don't know how far away. Right now, I don't think he can perform every day. We have to wait and see in Spring Training how mature he is and how he comes back. It's good for him to taste a little bit of the big league level and how people do stuff here."
Viciedo came to the White Sox prior to the 2009 campaign via a four-year, $10 million deal. The return on that investment basically has been Viciedo's .271 average with three home runs and seven RBIs over 85 at-bats this season.
Unfair expectations might have been placed on Viciedo to produce immediately upon joining the White Sox, much like shortstop Alexei Ramirez, who stands as a Silver Slugger candidate in his third year with the team. But Guillen pointed out on Sunday how Viciedo didn't play throughout the entire 2008 season as he came over from Cuba to the United States.
Morel already was known for his stellar glove work and has shown the ability to pull the baseball with authority during his September work. Mark Teahen has two more years left on his three-year extension and figures into the third-base picture, while Viciedo seems to be more of a first base/designated hitter candidate at this point.
Regardless of his position, Guillen believes Viciedo needs work as a hitter to succeed consistently at this level, especially where his one walk this season is concerned.
"Be more patient at the plate," said Guillen of the focus for Viciedo, laughing at that critique coming from a less-than-patient hitter in his own right. "But learn a little bit more about the big league level.
"You hit in Triple-A and you face two or three good pitchers. In the big leagues, you face everyone. They have a lot of scouts. They are going to see his weakness. Offensively, he has to make some adjustments."
Beckham still waiting on return
CHICAGO -- Gordon Beckham plans to test his sore right hand during a batting practice session prior to Monday's game in Oakland to see when he will be able to return, or if a return is possible.
"We'll see tomorrow how it feels," Beckham said. "If it feels like it has felt the last couple of weeks tomorrow, then I don't know. We'll make that decision at that point.
"Honestly, it's still sore. When I wake up, I feel it. I don't know if that's a good thing. It's probably not a good thing."
Beckham suffered the injury on Aug. 30 in Cleveland, when he was hit by a pitch on the right hand. He has tried to play through the pain, but has not seen action in the weekend Detroit set and came in as a pinch-runner during the final game against the Twins.
If Ozzie Guillen believes playing Beckham won't help the team in his current state, he's not against keeping the second baseman out of action.
"My job is to put the best guys out there to win," Guillen said. "In the meanwhile, you are going to go bad all year and then give up at-bats and don't help us to win, then it's easy. When Omar [Vizquel] is ready, we put him back at second and I keep playing [Brent] Morel. We are not going to push Gordon to do something he shouldn't be doing. We have to be careful."
"I don't want to sit out the last two weeks," Beckham said. "I want to be able to play and do whatever I can. It is what it is. They said that rest is the only thing that's going to give it help."
Confusion surrounds Jenks' status
CHICAGO -- With Bobby Jenks still not ready to come back from the ulnar neuritis causing pain in his right forearm and tingling in his right arm, there's a chance the closer might not make the road trip to Oakland and Anaheim. Those words came from manager Ozzie Guillen on Sunday.
"I don't know exactly when he's going to be ready," Guillen said. "But if you aren't going to pitch, why are you going to go? We don't know yet. We are going to see how we do it with him."
Jenks has not thrown since saving both ends of a doubleheader at Fenway Park on Sept. 4, and Guillen believes if he can't pitch on the upcoming six-game excursion, he won't be ready for the season's final seven games at home. As quickly as he ruled him out, though, Guillen added how Jenks could be throwing in Oakland.
Having earned $7.5 million this past season, Jenks could be a non-tender candidate as a third-year arbitration eligible player. Those facts mean he could have thrown his last inning for the White Sox.
If that theory proves true, Guillen presented fitting kudos to one of the most important players to suit up for the organization in the last decade.
"Every time he's been on the mound, he's been great for us," said Guillen. "We gambled with this kid and it worked pretty good. We win the lottery. This kid was in Double-A and we picked him up and he pitched very well for us. Hopefully we get him back, but that's someone else's department. He was great for the White Sox organization."
White Sox understand the Twins' success
CHICAGO -- A.J. Pierzynski does not stand as the only member of the current White Sox roster who has a working knowledge of what makes the enemy tick from Minneapolis. Sergio Santos also played three months within the Twins' organization during the 2008 season, as an infielder, and is not surprised by the team excelling even without first baseman Justin Morneau.
"It's a compliment to them, because they are a good organization," Santos said. "They do things the right way. It's scary if they did have money like the Yankees or other teams have, what they would have. They produced enough and they teach guys to play the right way.
"Since the first day I got there, they broke it down for me and said, 'Look, this is what we do. We call it Twins baseball.' They do the little things right. They emphasize unselfish baseball, not giving at-bats away. They grind you and grind you until you feel like you get tired and they are still going strong."
Freddy Garcia's balky back continues to feel better, and he plans to throw a bullpen session on Monday in Oakland. Garcia is in line to start the series opener in Anaheim on Friday. ... John Danks sits one inning short of his second straight year with 200 innings pitched. ... White Sox pitchers had a 7.22 ERA on the nine-game homestand, and the team was outscored, 66-41. ... Detroit relievers threw a combined 94 pitches over the final three innings during Sunday's 9-7 win over Chicago. ... The White Sox are 30-39 against the American League Central and 64-67 against the AL.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.