MINNEAPOLIS -- Although there’s a left-hander on the mound Monday night, Paul Konerko isn’t in the lineup.
The White Sox slugger has been given what he and manager Robin Ventura described as a normal day off even though Minnesota Twins southpaw -- and former Sox farmhand -- Pedro Hernandez is on the mound.
Konerko, who is hitting .214 with four homers and 16 RBIs, has played in 33 of the White Sox first 35 games.
“I’m a little worn down, like everybody,” Konerko said. “Now is a good time.”
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Ventura admits he was tempted to pencil Konerko into the cleanup spot with Hernandez, part of the trade that brought Francisco Liriano to the White Sox last July, on the mound.
But all along, the White Sox have stressed their plan to limit how much time Konerko spends in the field. They want to preserve him for the entire season and therefore have limited his time after first base. Ventura downplayed the notion he’s giving Konerko, who has hit .172 with a homer and five RBIs in his last 16 games, a day off for any reason other than rest.
“It just made sense,” Ventura said. “He’s frustrated with where it’s at. But this is still scheduled and it was put in there with the idea he was going to have these. It was nothing about performance or anything like that. It’s more planned for the purpose of keeping him strong.”
Beckham feeling better
Gordon Beckham said Monday the pain in his left wrist has decreased even with an increased workload and he hopes to start take batting practice later this week.
The White Sox second baseman said he feels less soreness the day after he works as he continues to rehab from a broken left hamate bone.
At this point, Beckham hasn’t faced live pitching, but he has hit off a tee and hit flips in the batting cage. Beckham had surgery to repair his broken hamate bone on April 16 and appears to be ahead of schedule.
“I felt pretty good swinging the bat,” Beckham said. “When it’s the right pitch, the right swing, it’s doing the right thing. But there are some pitches that tie me up. I don’t feel comfortable yet. But there are a lot of things to like.”
Ventura said pitcher John Danks has at least one more minor-league rehab start after his third outing on Sunday.
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Danks allowed three runs (two earned), seven hits and walked three over six innings at Triple-A Charlotte. The left-hander earned the victory and struck out five batters. Danks has a 3.00 ERA with 16 hits, nine walks and 10 strikeouts in 18 innings in three rehab starts.