GLENDALE, Ariz. — With a number of able candidates in camp, the White Sox are unlikely to use Gordon Beckham at shortstop this spring.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura said the team already has an idea how Beckham would fare at the position if needed and doesn’t want to take time away from several young players. Aside from starter Alexei Ramirez, the White Sox have prospects in Marcus Semien, Leury Garcia and Carlos Sanchez in camp, all of who have spent time at shortstop. Alex Liddi and Jake Elmore also have played some shortstop in their careers.
“We know he can do it if we need to do it,” Ventura said. “Down here not necessary to do it with him we found out last year that he could if we needed to. Give other guys the opportunity to get ready to play.”
In an attempt to rest Ramirez in 2013 without a true backup on the active roster, the White Sox tried Beckham at short several times. Beckham played a pair of games at shortstop during a minor-league rehab assignment after he suffered a broken hamate bone. He also appeared in two games for the White Sox, accruing six innings.
With three first basemen/designated hitters and a potential third base platoon, the White Sox may have to go without a true utility man on the active roster on Opening Day. That may leave Beckham and Jeff Keppinger as the team’s best options to back up Ramirez, who has averaged 158 games the past three seasons, at short.