KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Gordon Beckham’s scratch from the lineup 24 hours earlier isn’t an indication of a further setback in his rehab, Robin Ventura said Saturday.
The White Sox manager said Beckham, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, is expected to return to the lineup for Double-A Birmingham on Saturday night after a hiccup on Friday.
Eligible to come off the DL on Saturday, Beckham isn’t expected to return to the White Sox until Thursday at the earliest.
The White Sox have indicated they want to give Beckham as much time as he needs to properly heal from an oblique strain that has bothered him since March 14th. They stuck to the plan Friday of not rushing Beckham when they held him out of the contest for precautionary reasons and not because he felt a further strain, Ventura said.
“Nothing serious, but just felt like something was aching him and didn’t want to take a chance on it,” Ventura said. “He knows to be really cautious with it just because if it happens again, it’s going to be worse. Just the history of knowing guys who have the injury, you do it that second time and it’s going to be worse.”
Marcus Semien is the beneficiary of Beckham’s absence as he has started all five of the team’s games, including three at second base. Since a 0-for-13 start, Semien has homered, doubled and walked twice in seven trips to the plate. Even with Beckham out, the White Sox feel they’re in capable hands with Semien, who was rated the No. 5 prospect in the organization this season by Baseball America.
“Not too many guys get an opportunity like this, especially in the beginning of the year, to start up here and show what you can do,” Ventura said. “I don’t know necessarily what the decision would have been had Gordon not been on the DL, but to get an opportunity like this is pretty good. … We knew for a while that Gordon wasn’t probably going to make it then you look at it differently. For him to get an opportunity it makes your decision a little tougher when Gordon is coming back, whenever that is.”
Viciedo starts in right, Garcia sits
Dayan Viciedo needed a start and Avisail Garcia looked as if he could use a rest, Ventura said. After he singled in three of his first five at-bats, Garcia is hitless in his last 13. Ventura said Garcia has looked out of sync and wanted to get him a chance to work in the cages with hitting coach Todd Steverson while keeping Alejandro De Aza in the lineup.
“He’s feeling for it a lot,” Ventura said. “It’s not a real confident swing that he’s had earlier. I’ve seen him in spring looking pretty good and feeling confident. It just feels like he’s tentative and feeling for it. So just give him a day in the cage to just get a good feel back and be back in there tomorrow.”
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— Ventura didn’t necessarily want to take a hot bat out of Tyler Flowers’ hands but needed to get Adrian Nieto a start. Ventura also cited the rapport Nieto developed with Saturday’s starter John Danks when he caught him several times this spring. Flowers is hitting .571 through 14 at-bats.
“With all the day games we have to be able to keep Flo fresh and be back in there tomorrow, you get this kid with his feet wet and get him in there,” Ventura said. “Him and Johnny worked pretty good in spring training together so it should be good.”
— Flowers’ eight hits in four games are only three less than the catcher had in 20 games in April 2013. He also already has seven singles after finishing with 29 in 84 games in 2013.