Returning from his rehab stint at AA Birmingham, Paul Konerko is ready for what could be his last stretch of baseball in a White Sox uniform. To make room for him, the team has optioned third baseman Brent Morel to AAA Charlotte.
Brent Morel didn't look like the defensive stud we know him to be, but he did show good versatility being able to move back and forth between first and third base. Though he only went 5-for-22 at the plate, he did walk five times and had an impressive .370 OBP.
He did strike out six times though and didn't have an extra-base hits during this short stint in the black pin stripes. I think it's fair to say you could describe the stint as 'underwhelming.'
With Konerko and Adam Dunn ready to take over the first base and designated hitter duties on a daily basis once again and Conor Gillaspie ready to continue his platoon with Jeff Keppinger at third base, there's really just no need for Morel on the big league roster.
Barring any acquisitions, he'll still likely have a chance to make the 2014 team as either a third or first baseman, he may as well be playing every day for the Knights in AAA as opposed to riding the bench on Chicago's south side.
Through 68 games with Charlotte, Morel had a .283 batting average, 20 doubles, 2 triples, and five home runs to go along with his 40 RBI's. He was also nine of 11 in the stolen base category.
But back to the real story – Paul Konerko.
The now 37 year-old 'Paulie' who many consider to be the White Sox' second or third best hitter of all-time has been mere shades of himself in 2013.
He's tallied just over 250 at-bats and has a .249 batting average and a very unimpressive .682 OPS. He's hit just nine doubles, seven home runs, and driven in 30 runners.
With his contract expiring at the end of this season, it seems very unlikely that he'll return to the White Sox in 2014. Especially if the team still has Adam Dunn on their payroll, you just have to find a slot to give more youngsters a chance to flourish wherever you can … much like the Sox did for Paulie in 1999.
He's always been a stand-up, understanding guy, so I expect no hard feelings. And since there most likely won't be a playoff push at 35th & Shields, they'll likely play up the end of Konerko's career with the team for all they can get.
But hey, Paulie deserves it. I'm really hoping he can turn it around in the second half of the season and spark some more fireworks at 'The Cell' like he has for 14+ seasons.
If you missed the "OOO-EEE-OOO" chant after Magglio Ordonez left town before the 2005 season, just imagine how much you'll miss "PAULIE! PAULIE! PAULIE!"
Ah, now I'm sad.