White Sox’ Gordon Beckham out with strained oblique
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter March 15, 2014 4:52PM
Updated: March 15, 2014 11:27PM
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Gordon Beckham has a strained left oblique muscle and will have no baseball activity for seven days. His activity level after that is the bigger question for the White Sox.
Beckham doesn’t seem worried about being ready for Opening Day on March 31, but obliques being the tricky injuries they are, the Sox will prepare for any scenario. Marcus Semien — who started at second base Saturday when the Sox played their late game against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw — and Leury Garcia will get most of the action there, with speedy prospect Micah Johnson also playing but a long shot to make the Opening Day roster, manager Robin Ventura said.
Beckham might be fortunate to get into a Cactus League game before the opener. The last one is March 27 against the Cubs.
‘‘Right now we’re looking at seven days,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘[Trainer] Herm [Schneider] wants to shut him down, make sure before we test again. Those are always tricky. You don’t want those it to linger around, either.’’
Beckham was confident he will be good to go after seven days, but players always say that. It’s not that he won’t be — it’s just an unknown.
‘‘It’s frustrating,’’ said Beckham, who felt the strain in the batting cage after Friday’s game. ‘‘Right now I think we’re taking seven full days just to let it heal, so it should be fine. If we’re giving it that kind of rest, it’s going to be fine for Opening Day.’’
Beckham appeared in 103 games last season, his fewest since his rookie season of 2009 (also 103) because of injuries, including a fractured hamate bone in his left hand.
He is the second Sox to be sidelined by a left oblique strain. Right-hander Matt Lindstrom is working his way back to action after a setback two weeks ago.
The versatile Semien and Garcia also can play shortstop, and at least one of them has a decent shot at breaking camp with the team, especially with infielder Jeff Keppinger (shoulder) looking more and more like he’s heading for a disabled list landing before the opener. Infielder Carlos Sanchez was sent down Friday and needs more time in the minors ‘‘playing every day,’’ general manager Rick Hahn said.
‘‘Semien and Garcia . . . get the most shots at it, so we’re covering ourselves, and they fit into that of being able to play second and have some versatility, too,’’ Ventura said.
Third baseman Matt Davidson’s chances of making the roster would seem to benefit from Beckham and Keppinger being injured, but Ventura has been saying that Davidson, 22, acquired in the offseason for closer Addison Reed, won’t be rushed.
Beckham certainly won’t be rushed with this injury.
‘‘Shutting him down is the most conservative route and the best one to getting him back to 100 percent,’’ Hahn said. ‘‘If you try to fight through these things, they can really grab you and linger for an extended period. We feel we caught it soon enough that hopefully if it does drift into the season, it hopefully won’t be too long into the season.’’