MESA, Ariz. -- What was assumed to be official White Sox news became just that prior to Thursday's 8-7 loss to the Cubs at HoHoKam Stadium, when manager Ozzie Guillen announced Brent Morel as the team's starting third baseman.

Apparently, everyone but Morel knows this starting fact to be true.

"I haven't heard it from [Guillen], so we'll wait and see," said Morel, whose two hits on Thursday raised his Cactus League average to .286. "I kind of know my role, and do what I can to help the team win."

Mark Teahen will fill the super-sub role, playing third base, first base and the outfield. Guillen plans to protect Morel against tough right-handed pitchers, but won't use the left-handed-hitting Teahen only against those high-end hurlers.

As a left-handed-hitting bench player later in his career, Guillen knows how tough that particular challenge can become.

"Obviously he's going to face tough ones, but I'm going to give him pitchers he can handle," Guillen said. "It's not fair to play Mo against the normal ones and the big boys come up and Teahen is in the lineup.

"Teahen will be here just for his offense. Moving around to different positions, it's hard for everyone. We don't expect him to be a Gold Glove. We expect him to do the best he can. There's no doubt if this kid [Morel] makes the ballclub, he has to play every day."

Humber still fifth in line after rough start

MESA, Ariz. -- Philip Humber is a near certainty to be part of the White Sox Opening Day roster when camp breaks Tuesday. He also holds a clear-cut advantage to temporarily take the rotation's fifth spot during Jake Peavy's absence.

But after allowing seven runs on five hits over 4 1/3 innings during Thursday's 8-7 loss to the Cubs at HoHoKam Stadium, Humber still was taking nothing for granted. To be honest, he's not even thinking about April 1 or April 6, when that fifth-starter's turn first comes around in Kansas City.

"Until I'm on that plane from Winston-Salem [N.C., where the club will play an exhibition game] to Chicago, I'm not counting any chickens," Humber said. "That's out of my control. Like I said the other day, I was just focused on getting ready for today and I'll just take it day by day from here."

Humber walked four and allowed the leadoff hitter to reach in three of five innings. The right-hander realizes every start or trip to the mound is a chance to impress, but he understands one rough outing won't sink him. Guillen said as much postgame, praising Humber's good stuff and adding that the White Sox don't have anyone healthy who is better for the job.

"Obviously, the results were not what I was looking for," Humber said. "There was a lot of traffic out there today and most of it was caused by me not throwing strikes.

"At the same time, you have to shake it off and go to the next time. I don't think one game is going to make or break anybody, especially in Spring Training. I'll just get ready for the next one and try to do better."

Pierre removed for precautionary measures

MESA, Ariz. -- After fouling a Matt Garza pitch off his right shin in the top of the fifth inning Thursday and then striking out, Juan Pierre was replaced in left field and in the leadoff spot by Brent Lillibridge. Pierre suffered a bruised right shin, but it was deemed as nothing serious by manager Ozzie Guillen.

"He don't want to come out of the game," said Guillen of his durable leadoff hitter. "It's something we don't want to deal with later. Get it done early and get ready for the next game. He started laughing. He didn't want to come out, but he's fine."

Peavy may return to mound this weekend

MESA, Ariz. -- There wasn't much to report Thursday concerning Jake Peavy's progress, after he was shut down Sunday with rotator cuff tendinitis. Peavy played light catch on Thursday, and he could be on the mound some time later this weekend.

When pressed as to who would fill the fifth-starter's opening at the 2011 season's outset, manager Ozzie Guillen still was leaning toward Phil Humber in the short term. When asked if he held out any hope for Peavy to take the mound on April 6 in Kansas City, Guillen gave a qualified "No."

"Please, when I say this, say everything that I say," Guillen said. "In my opinion, he should [be ready]. But I don't think we are in a hurry to put him there. If Peavy is ready to pitch, believe me, I'll be the happiest man on earth.

"Like I said from the first day of Spring Training, since January at SoxFest, we have to be really careful. We are going to go little by little because this man is very valuable to the White Sox for this year. I don't care about next year. I might not even be here next year. I worry about this year. He's very valuable for us if we want to continue to get what we want to get."

Third to first

Two more hits for Carlos Quentin during the Cubs' 8-7 victory over the White Sox gives the right fielder 12 hits in his last 17 at-bats and a .340 spring average. ... Donny Lucy and Alexei Ramirez hit home runs on back-to-back pitches from James Russell in the eighth inning Thursday. ... Adam Dunn had two hits taken away by the Cubs' extreme shift, with one ground ball fielded in short center field by shortstop Starlin Castro. ... Chris Sale has recorded 13 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings. ... Sergio Santos has yet to be scored upon in nine innings.