Chicago White Sox third baseman Brent Morel, whose back injury facilitated the acquisition of Kevin Youkilis, said Friday it's been fun to watch the impact Youkilis has had on the first-place White Sox.
Morel has been on the disabled list since May 18, and he is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Friday with Single-A Winston-Salem.
"It's been fun to watch," Morel said on a conference call. "Youkilis has helped out, balanced this lineup a lot.
"We weren't getting a lot of production out of third base when I was in there, or when I wasn't (with Orlando Hudson filling in). For them to go out and get him and see the impact it's had on the team, it's been fun to watch this team kind of believe in itself a little bit more, and they've been playing really well."
As a result, it's unlikely Morel will regain a regular spot when he returns. Morel said his back is "feeling really good," but he just began taking batting practice this week and has no timetable to get back to the big league team.
"I think they're not really in a big rush to get me back," Morel said. "It's kind of good for my part that they went out and got (Youkilis). I was kind of pushing it to get back as soon I could. Now, I'm just making sure that I'm 100 percent healthy.
"I haven't really talked to (manager Robin Ventura) or the coaching staff or anybody. Just from taking a guess, if they need me to spell anybody or kind of when they pinch run for Konerko late in a game, maybe go to third and Youkilis go to first, but I think the lineup is not going to change whether I'm there or not. They're playing really well. I just want to get healthy and get back up there and help them, whether it's defense or pinch run or spelling a guy when they need a break, I just want to get back there and help them as best as I can."
As far as returning to the White Sox, Morel said: "I think it's going to be a little while. It's been a couple months since I've done anything. I just started hitting BP a couple days ago. Just going to try to DH a couple games and then work my way in at third.
"Hard to make a timetable when I haven't played."