Gordon Beckham might be back for weekend series vs. Rays
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter April 20, 2014 10:11PM
Updated: April 20, 2014 11:28PM
ARLINGTON, Texas — The White Sox don’t want Gordon Beckham feeling good; they want him feeling great before they bring him back from his rehab stint at Class AA Birmingham. That means the second baseman won’t be around to help the Sox in Detroit this week and more likely will return this weekend when the Tampa Bay Rays come to town.
“That’s probably a good target if nothing happens,’’ said manager Robin Ventura, who wants Beckham’s left oblique to be at 100 percent. “He feels good enough to play and everything, but I don’t think he feels great. When he feels that way, you get him up here.’’
Meanwhile, rookie Marcus Semien, who had a career-high four hits, including an RBI triple, in the Sox’ 16-2 victory Sunday against the Texas Rangers, gets valuable experience at second base. Semien, who can play second base, third and shortstop, knows he’ll have to vacate when Beckham comes back.
“Gordon and Alexei [ Ramirez] have been up the middle for a lot of years,’’ Semien said.
“I feel fortunate enough to play all three positions and step into any spot I can whenever the opportunity arises. When that time comes, we’ll see how things are looking on our roster and go from there.’’
If the Sox want Semien to get 500 at-bats, they’ll send him to Class AAA Charlotte, but they believe 250 to 300 won’t impede his development, and he could get that platooning around three spots. Semien, who moved from second to leadoff with Adam Eaton sidelined for the first of at least three days with a mild left hamstring strain, raised his average to .222.
Money in the tank
Among Beckham ($4.175 million), Jeff Keppinger ($4 million), Felipe Paulino ($1.75 million), Nate Jones ($545,000) and Avisail Garcia ($510,000), the Sox have $10.5 million in player salaries on the disabled list.
Keppinger, the team’s seventh-highest-paid player who is under contract for $4.5 million next season, is stuck at extended spring training with a sore right shoulder and has become an afterthought.
“Recently [Keppinger] was playing third, and it didn’t feel real great throwing across the infield,’’ Ventura said. “Some days it feels really good, some days it doesn’t.’’
Keppinger, who turns 34 Monday, doesn’t seem to fit in the future plans for the Sox, who might end up eating most or all of his contract.