Beckham, White Sox face time crunch as season opener nears

Beckham, White Sox face time crunch as season opener nears
March 23, 2014, 6:15 pm
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There’s still a ton of uncertainty when it comes to Gordon Beckham’s left oblique strain.

The only aspects the White Sox are sure of with eight days left until opening day is that time is running short and the club is comfortable that it doesn’t have to rush Beckham back onto the field. Beckham, who suffered the strain on March 14, has performed limited activities the past two days, but hasn’t done anything to test the afflicted area. The White Sox have begun to acknowledge the possibility Beckham opens the season on the 15-day DL.

“It’s tricky,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “We have to wait and make sure he’s ok, doesn’t go out and hurt himself again, then you lose him for 15 more days. Just being very careful with him.”

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Beckham has expressed confidence all along Opening Day isn’t in question. He already has accrued more than 30 plate appearances this spring, which works in his favor because he wouldn’t be starting from scratch. But the White Sox would need to see him test out his oblique shortly so he could get a few more at-bats before next Monday’s opener.

Were Beckham to start on the DL, his injury would be backdated to Friday, which means he’d be eligible to come off by April 5. The White Sox might choose that option with Marcus Semien playing well this spring. Prospect Micah Johnson has also performed well and utility man Leury Garcia’s arm, glove and speed could make him a valuable replacement.

Days are getting a little short,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “We’ll have to see how he progresses. … We have some options. There’s no need to rush Gordon back for March 31 if it doesn’t physically make sense.”