SEATTLE -- The pain has given way to soreness and now Gordon Beckham believes he can contribute to the White Sox.
Beckham has been activated off the disabled list for Monday’s game, seven weeks after he sustained a broken left hamate bone in Washington. But as good as the numbers put up by the second baseman -- who is hitting ninth against the Seattle Mariners on Monday -- were at Triple-A Charlotte before he was sidelined for a week with soreness in his surgically repaired left hand, Beckham admits they were fraudulent.
“I was able to compete, but I wasn’t able to even get into anything,” Beckham said. “I was barely swinging, getting hits. It was working out, but at the same time I remember thinking, ‘I don’t know how I’m getting hits right now because it doesn’t feel good. It hurts. Every swing hurts.’ The only time it wouldn’t hurt is when I literally squared it up perfectly. I just knew that I wasn’t ready to come back and help these guys. I would have been worse. I would have hurt a lot more than I would have helped.”
Whatever the issue was, Beckham said it has subsided enough to feel comfortable in the box. Beckham, who had surgery to remove his hamate bone on April 16, had three games in the past four days to determine he’s well enough to be here. He also visited a specialist who gave him the all clear he’s fine.
Beckham hit .333 with seven runs and five RBIs in eight games at Charlotte. Five of those contests occurred before he was shut down for a week with soreness.
“It’s just pain,” Beckham said. “I don’t know if it was the way we were taping it up or not taping it. It was just bothering me to the point where I didn’t feel confident about hitting a 90-mph fastball. They taped it up differently and I saw the doctor who assured me everything is looking good so we taped it up differently, took a dose pack/pad/ and started to feel a lot better.”
White Sox manager Robin Ventura thinks Beckham’s return can only aid an offense that has languished all season. The White Sox have averaged 3.44 runs per game and been shut out six times in 54 games. Ventura is confident Beckham is ready to be in the lineup.
“Activity wise, he’s fine. It’s just one of those he’s been doing enough baseball stuff. The timing of major league pitching will be the biggest thing. At this point, it can’t hurt us.”
Beckham said he’s not about to let those struggles alter his approach in hopes he can rally the White Sox by himself.
“You just have to go play,” Beckham said. “I’m not going to try to put any more pressure on myself than I normally would. I’m going to play and compete and do it the right way. Hopefully I at least go out there and you hustle a little bit and you show some pride, I guess. I don’t know. You just go out there and play and hope it works out.”
Dunn to hit sixth
Adam Dunn is in the sixth spot in the lineup on Monday, a move Ventura said is partly based on matchup and partly to relieve pressure on the slugger. The Mariners are starting left-handed pitcher Joe Saunders. Meanwhile Dunn is 4-for-36 in his last 10 games.
Paul Konerko is back in the lineup in the fourth spot after he missed parts of the last two games and outfielder Dayan Viciedo is hitting fifth against Saunders.
“It’s a little of both,” Ventura said. “More of a matchup thing with having Viciedo behind Paulie and Paulie behind (Alex) Rios, it’s more of a matchup thing. Either way, it is what it is. That’s where he’s at.”
Sale on streak
There’s no doubt Chris Sale enjoyed his scoreless innings streak.
Well, most of it.
Sale’s streak came to an end after 28 innings on Sunday afternoon. The run was the longest by a White Sox starting pitcher since Wilson Alvarez went 31 innings in September 1993.
“When you have something like that it means you won some ballgames and helped your team win,” Sale said Sunday. “But I couldn’t tell you how many scoreless innings I had. I’m glad it’s over so we can stop talking about it and get back to normal baseball business and go to Seattle and turn this thing around.”