Beckham shows encouraging signs

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Beckham shows encouraging signs

Gordon Beckham goes 3-4 one night, and all of a sudden a throng of media is surrounding his locker the next afternoon.

"These questions are ridiculous -- I mean, I had one good game," Beckham said, either sarcastically or with a hint of irritation. "I know I can hit. I was happy last night. I'm going to continue working the way I've been working. Whatever happens at the end of the year is what I worked for and what I deserved. That's all."

To be fair, Beckham should've seen this coming. While Jake Peavy, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios have all got off to solid starts to the 2012 season, Beckham has floundered, entering last night with a .434 OPS. He only had one multi-hit game before Tuesday night, with that coming on a pair of soft singles against Baltimore two weeks ago.

So, yes, it was just one good game. But Beckham hadn't really had a good game until last night. And it came only a few hours after manager Robin Ventura hinted that the leash may be growing tighter for Beckham and Brent Morel.

The tone of Ventura's comments a day later was much more positive.

"That's something that can get him started," Ventura said of Beckham's game Tuesday. "It has to start somewhere and that's something that builds confidence. The home run's nice, but the two other hits for me were bigger than the home run, just the way he did it, kind of the way the at-bats progressed. That kind of stuff is more promising and looks better than just one home run."

And it's not like Ventura came out on Tuesday and said Beckham was going to hit the pine if he didn't start producing immediately. That's not Ventura's style, and it's something Beckham appreciates.

"We've been struggling, but I don't think there's been any lack of effort. I think he realizes that," Beckham said. "We've been playing well as a team. Some guys have struggled, yes, but we've still been playing well. Guys that have been struggling are going to get going and hopefully pick up some guys that have been hot and might have an off week."

A lot of Beckham's struggles have been pegged as being on the mental side of things -- for someone with so much talent, he's worried quite about about the mechanics of his approach. So perhaps it's an encouraging sign that Beckham couldn't really explain what went right on Tuesday.

"I had a different feel, it was a good feel. I don't know how to describe it," Beckham said. "It was just more me. I don't know what that means, but that's kind of what it was."

One game doesn't erase a full month -- or two years -- of Beckham's offensive malaise. He's had plenty of good games and good stretches in the last two seasons.

But with every one will come the expectation that Beckham has finally turned a corner. And until he does that, the questions will keep coming.

Rick Hahn: White Sox 'still thoroughly, deeply engaged' in trade talks as meetings close

Rick Hahn: White Sox 'still thoroughly, deeply engaged' in trade talks as meetings close

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The White Sox have a pair of relievers to dangle and have become increasingly busier with two of three free-agent closers off the board.

Prior to leaving the Winter Meetings on Thursday, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn was asked if a pool of relievers including closer David Robertson and setup man Nate Jones had drawn much interest.

Having already traded Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, it’s believed the White Sox are willing to part with most anyone if the price is right. It sounds as if that possibility has improved after the Yankees’ late night signing of Aroldis Chapman on Wednesday, two days after the San Francisco Giants signed Mark Melancon. With only Kenley Jansen still left in free agency and due a big salary, Robertson, who has two years and $25 million left on his deal, could solve several teams’ relief needs. Jones is also a draw with potentially five years left on his current team-friendly deal, which includes two club options and one mutual option for 2021.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

“We’ve had a lot of interesting conversations on a number of different fronts involving are players,” Hahn said. “And yes, we still have reliever pieces and starting pieces that are appealing to various teams throughout the league. I don’t think anything is going to happen between now and the time I go pick up my bags and head to the airport. But still thoroughly engaged, deeply engaged on a number of different fronts.”

Despite adding five pitchers and two position players through their first two moves, the White Sox still have a long list of desires. That list potentially includes a long-term starting catcher and another big bat among others.

White Sox add pitcher Dylan Covey in Rule 5 draft

White Sox add pitcher Dylan Covey in Rule 5 draft

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The White Sox added another young pitcher on Thursday when they selected right-hander Dylan Covey in the Rule 5 draft.

Covey, formerly the No. 20 prospect in the Oakland A’s farm system, missed all but six starts of the 2016 regular season after he sustained an oblique injury. A fourth-round selection in 2013, Covey also made six starts in the Arizona Fall League, compiling a 4.74 ERA in 24 2/3 innings. He is the sixth pitcher added by the White Sox at the Winter Meetings this week, including five acquired in the trades for Chris Sale and Adam Eaton.

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Covey, who must stay on the major league roster the entire season or would potentially be offered back to Oakland, can compete for a spot in the bullpen or even the team’s rotation.

“Interesting kid,” Hahn said. “Up to 95 with some sink. Four-pitch mix. Obviously, he’s not a finished product. But we think he has a chance to compete for a spot in our bullpen or possibly even in the rotation. Long term he has starter potential and we’ll just have to wait and see how he looks when he gets to Glendale. But interesting arm and we’re interested in adding as much talent as we can to the organization.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

The White Sox added a bevy of prospects in the previous two days, including MLB.com’s top-ranked position player (Yoan Moncada) and pitcher (Lucas Giolito). The haul also includes talented pitchers Michael Kopech and Reynaldo Lopez, among others.

“It’s a weird feeling,” Hahn said. “Mixed emotions. You never like parting ways with stalwarts on this roster like Chris Sale and Adam Eaton. At the same time, we had a plan that we know is going to take some time and it’s nice to feel good about the first steps in that plan and the return which we received.”

Originally selected in the first round of the 2010 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers, Covey opted for college after he was diagnosed with Diabetes. Covey played alongside Cubs star Kris Bryant for three seasons (2011-13) and White Sox farmhand Louie Lechich at the University of San Diego before Oakland drafted him in 2013.

Covey was limited to six regular season starts in 2016 at Double-A Midland after his oblique injury. He finished 2-1 with a 1.84 ERA in 29 1/3 innings.