Teahen, Morel taking 3B battle down to wire

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Chicago White Sox say they haven’t named a winner in the battle at third base, despite a report Sunday that said otherwise.

Guillen was the first to refute the report and said that a decision has not been made. Brent Morel and Mark Teahen, both in the battle for that spot, also said they had not heard a thing.

The confusion appears to have started from a comment Guillen made over the weekend when he mentioned that he would like Teahen to play some outfield in the final week of spring training.

“I might talk to [GM] Kenny [Williams] to make sure we get Teahen a few games in the outfield just to protect ourselves and him and see the work,” Guillen said after Saturday’s game against the A’s. “Get him some opportunities to be in the outfield before we break camp, if he’s not the third baseman.

“He will play third base. He’s on the team. Like I say, he’s going to be at third base, right field, whatever he’s going to be playing, but in the meanwhile that’s where we have him playing. Get him a start in the outfield to take fly balls out there just in case.”

Not only did Teahen not hear that the third-base job had been awarded, he didn’t even know of the plan to get him a game or two in the outfield.

“Yeah, it’s a story or whatever, but for me, I’m preparing to do whatever they ask me to do,” Teahen said. “For me, it doesn’t change a whole lot. I want to make sure I’m where I want physically and with my swing and everything else. Wherever I am in the lineup or on the field, I’ll figure it out from there.”

The left-handed hitting Teahen has looked good at the plate most of the spring, primarily with driving the ball to the opposite field. Much of his success came from reassurances from hitting coach Greg Walker.

“Walker is pretty good about just kind of what you’ve done it in the past and to just keep doing what you are doing,” Teahen said. “Just getting to know new coaches there’s an adjustment period. More than anything it’s just comfort and trusting what I’m doing and being comfortable in the situation.”

Because of his defense, though, it is Morel who still appears to be the favorite to land the starting third-base job. His offense has even picked up after working on his swing on the back field during consecutive days earlier this spring.

Guillen has said he will wait until the very end of spring training to decide the starter at third base, as well as the winner in the battle for the backup outfielder spot between Lastings Milledge, Alejandro De Aza and Brent Lillibridge.