Beckham offers banged up White Sox flexibility

Beckham offers banged up White Sox flexibility
April 24, 2014, 12:00 pm
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DETROIT -- Gordon Beckham has arrived just in time for the wounded White Sox.

Third baseman Conor Gillaspie is out for at least Thursday and perhaps several more days after he tested his sore left hand with poor results earlier in the morning.

Wearing a heavy ice wrap and a look of disappointment, Gillaspie, who missed the previous two games of the series with soreness, said he hasn’t progressed.

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With Beckham activated off the 15-day disabled list, the White Sox inserted him into the lineup and moved Marcus Semien from second base to third. Beckham, who hasn’t been in the White Sox lineup since March 14 with a strained left oblique, wasn’t originally scheduled to play Thursday.

“My hand is bruised where the bat sits,” Gillaspie said. “Every time you hit a ball, it hurts. I don’t know. I’m not sure what the plan of action is going to be. I’m probably going to miss a few games. It’s part of the game, I suppose. I’ve been pretty fortunate. I’ve been pretty healthy my whole career. I don’t think anything is broken or anything. It’s just until I stop hitting for an extended length of time, I just don’t think it’s going to go away. I can probably go out there and hit, but it would hurt every time I take a swing. I’ll leave it up to them and do whatever they tell me to do. It’s unfortunate, but I’ll try to do everything I can to get healthy. There’s no sense in continually being in pain every day.”

White Sox manager Robin Ventura is pleased to have some roster flexibility with Beckham in town. To combat a roster that has missed Gillaspie the past two games and Adam Eaton for a fifth straight day Thursday, the White Sox are down to a 12-man pitching staff, though that will only likely be the case until they need a starter on Sunday.

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But on Wednesday night, Ventura only had two players available on the bench --- Adam Dunn and Adrian Nieto. Now that Beckham is here, however, Ventura has options.

“With Gordon here, give (Gillaspie) another day and hopefully it does the trick,” Ventura said. “We’re just going day by day trying to figure out exactly how much he needs. It’s just in a sensitive spot, so, he’s available if something comes up and you need him to do something. Right now if we can get away without him having to do anything would be better.”

Ventura admits it has been a challenge but one his players have thoroughly helped with. So far the White Sox have had six players on the DL along with Eaton and Gillaspie sidelined. Eaton begged Ventura to get into Thursday’s lineup and the manager sounds as if he’s learning toward a possible return Friday.

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“There are times you’re trying to figure out what you can and who can play where,” Ventura said. “The guys have been great. They’re willing to do anything, even pitch. Guys are willing to do out there and do stuff, fill in for guys, so we’ve been fortunate.”

Beckham had a .163/.234/.279 slash line in 43 at-bats in a rehab assignment at Double-A Birmingham. More important than his numbers, however, is the fact Beckham was healthy enough to stay in the lineup every day. He played in 10 games over the past nine days including both games of an April 15 doubleheader.