St. Petersburg, Fla. -- Friday night’s blowout loss gave White Sox manager Robin Ventura the perfect opportunity to reintroduce Gordon Beckham to shortstop.
With two innings to go, Ventura was able to make a move he recently suggested he would as he rested starting shortstop Alexei Ramirez and inserted Beckham.
Until that point, Ramirez had played all 737 1/3 innings this season.
Ventura is pleased because he was able to get Beckham time at short -- where he also made several appearances during his minor league rehab stint -- in a low-pressure situation.
Ventura said he’s more likely to do the same thing, sit Ramirez late in a game, than have Beckham start.
“Last night (was) one of those to get Gordon comfortable over there instead of hitting him with it one day and get him over there in the middle of the game,” Ventura said. “He’s already got his adrenaline going. It wasn’t a big shock for him to get over there and do it and he didn’t have a lot of time to think about it. That was more the reason of doing it last night to be able to do it. Now he’s more excited about doing it, but I don’t know if he’s going to do it or when he’s going to do it.”
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The opportunities for Beckham, a college shortstop at Georgia, were limited to an eighth-inning popup. He didn’t have any hot shots to deal with or throws to second.
“It was like it used to be,” Beckham said. “It was fun for two innings. I haven’t played a lot over there, but it’s definitely a longer throw and you have less time so you have to be on your game. But it didn’t feel really weird. It just felt like a different spot.”
Catching plan not set
Ventura hasn’t defined what kind of split he has in mind for catchers Tyler Flowers and Josh Phegley. When Phegley arrived on Friday, Ventura said his intention is to play the rookie. Phegley went 1-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and two RBIs, but Flowers is behind the plate on Saturday. Ventura hinted Phegley will start Sunday and he also suggested that he might go with the hot hand as his starter.
“You go as you go,” Ventura said. Phegs is here to play. We wouldn’t have called him up if he wasn’t going to play. I don’t know if it’s exactly 50-50, but it will be a split of some sort.”
Asked if Phegley would get more time if he hits, Ventura agreed and then added:
“If Flow hits, he’ll probably plays a little bit more. It’s one of those he wasn’t going to be called up not to play, but I can’t guarantee he’s going to get more than Flow.”
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A sign of the White Sox injury woes can be seen on the team’s current 25-man roster as eight players who didn’t break spring camp are in the majors.
The White Sox have had 10 players go on the disabled list this season after only 13 did in all of 2012.
Pitchers Simon Castro, David Purcey and Ramon Troncoso, Phegley, third baseman Brent Morel and outfielder Blake Tekotte all began the season at Triple-A Charlotte.
Pitcher John Danks began the season on the DL and outfielder Casper Wells was acquired from the Oakland A’s on April 29.