The White Sox's Gordon Beckham hits a single during the seventh inning at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Ill., on Thursday, April 4, 2013. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 11, 2013 9:25PM
WASHINGTON -- Second baseman Gordon Beckham will undergo surgery early next week for a fractured left hamate bone and will be out for six weeks.
“It’s frustrating,’’ Beckham said. “But it is what it is. We’ll get the surgery done and I’ll be back.
The loss of Beckham puts a hit on the Sox middle infield defense. And, manager Robin Ventura liked the way Beckahm, his ninth-place hitter who was 6-for-19 (.318), was swinging the bat coming out of spring training.
“That’s the whole thing,’’ Ventura said. “You take six weeks and it’s like spring training all over again. Especially not being able to swing the bat. That will be the test, being somehow able to maintain it and have that same feel when he comes back.’’
“He was making hard contact. Every at-bat it was a tough at-bat.’’
Beckham broke the bone taking a swing during his first at-bat Tuesday against the Nationals. He finished the at-bat and played an inning in the field. It’s the first time he has broken a bone, he said.
“It’s not ideal. The way I was feeling at the plate, and also in the field,’’ he said. “There’s a lot to be excited about. I think there still is. It just will have to take a little rest time and get going again in June or end of May or whatever and just pick up right where I left off and sprint it out toward October. Hopefully we’re still in it and we can do some good things.”
The injury means Jeff Keppinger, who was signed to play third base over the off-season and add flexibility in the infield, will play more second base while Conor Gillaspie gets increased time at third base. General manager Rick Hahn will announce a move prior to Friday’s game in Cleveland. Possibilities include infielders Steve Tolleson and Brent Morel, or possibly a 13th pitcher.
With Angel Sanchez able to play second base, third and short and winning over Ventura’s confidence over the first eight games, an extra pitcher might be something Hahn and Ventura are considering.
“We’ll see,’’ Hahn said. “We are still talking through some options. The nice part of having flexibility and guys who can do different things is we aren’t locked into bringing up a middle infielder per se because we lost a middle infielder.’’