Beckham's injury provides young infielders opportunity

Beckham's injury provides young infielders opportunity
March 16, 2014, 6:45 pm
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SURPRISE, Ariz. — Micah Johnson has 16 at-bats through Sunday, and he likely has more on the way.

Though he’s lower in the pecking order than Marcus Semien and Leury Garcia, Johnson should benefit from Gordon Beckham's extended absence. Beckham is out for a week minimum. Johnson will bat leadoff for the White Sox on Monday, two days after the team announced Beckham wouldn’t perform any baseball-related activities for seven days after he sustained a left oblique strain late Friday.

Already off to a great start this spring, Johnson, who started 2013 at Single-A Kannapolis, will receive an extended look before camp ends. Johnson said a 7-for-16 start with six runs, three RBIs and two stolen bases has him confident his game translates at the major league level.

“The pitching is different, but it’s good to know that your approach can still work up here and you don’t need to change anything, just play your game,” Johnson said. “For me it’s getting on base, make contact.”

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This is normally the time of the spring where younger players are sent back to minor league camp to get more at-bats. But with Beckham and Jeff Keppinger sidelined, the White Sox still have plenty of at-bats to offer in big league camp.

While the White Sox need Beckham healthy, general manager Rick Hahn didn’t have to look too hard to find a silver lining.

This provides an opportunity for Marcus and Leury to play a little more regularly and even see a little bit more of Micah Johnson, despite the fact that he’s likely starting in the minors,” Hahn said. “It’s an opportunity to see some young kids over the next 10 days or so. Then we will reevaluate where we are at.”