WASHINGTON, D.C. -- He’s frustrated by the news he received Thursday that he’ll miss at least six weeks, but Gordon Beckham isn’t shocked.
Although X-rays initially showed the White Sox second baseman had no structural damage or broken bones in his left wrist, an MRI on Thursday revealed a fractured left hamate bone. Beckham will have surgery early next week and miss six-to-eight weeks as he recovers.
Beckham broke the bone in a second-inning at-bat on Tuesday when he fouled off a pitch. He said the pain he experienced in the aftermath and over the past two days let him know the severity of the injury.
“I did (know),” Beckham said. “I never have actually broken a bone in my body, so when I was moving it around the last couple days, I actually felt like it’s something I never felt before. The MRI confirmed what I thought. I really had a hard time gripping that bat after I came out of the game.”
The White Sox plan to place Beckham--who is off to a 6-for-19 start (.316)--on the disabled list Friday and announce a corresponding move.
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Beckham’s injury is one the club is better equipped to handle because Jeff Keppinger can easily slide over from third base to second in the interim.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura also has no problem using Conor Gillaspie at third base and the team also can turn to backup infielder Angel Sanchez.
But Ventura knows just how big of a hit the team will take a hit without Beckham on the field.
“It’s unfortunate,” Ventura said. “Mentally where he was at going into the year, he was off to a good start. Just quality at-bats. Even losing him at second base is a big one for us because he does a lot of good things there. It’s one of those, you’ve gotta pick up the pieces and move on.”
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said the club is still talking through its options to replace Beckham.
The team could turn to third baseman Brent Morel and have him split time at third with Gillaspie and keep Keppinger at second.
Because there isn’t a great need for Sanchez at shortstop, the White Sox could also add another arm in the bullpen, perhaps Brian Omogrosso, or promote another left-handed bat (Jordan Danks). Middle infielder Carlos Sanchez is also an option but one reason the team wanted him in the minors this season is to give him a chance to play every day.
While their next move isn’t certain, Hahn said for planning purposes at least the club knows how long it will be without Beckham.
“On the plus side of things, this is, as I said, something that happens fairly commonly and has a fairly standard recovery process,” Hahn said. “Once the time elapses, hopefully he can pick right up where he left off.”
Beckham agrees that knowing how long he’ll be sidelined has helped him cope.
Without question he’s frustrated. Beckham felt he was headed in the right direction at the plate after a good offseason of work with the Sox coaching staff.
But the not wondering aspect helps, he said.
“We’ll get the surgery done and I’ll be back,” Beckham said. “It’s not one of those things like a big question mark on how long it’s going to take. It’s probably going to take around six weeks, give or take a week north or south of that. So it will be fine.”