Gordon Beckham not bothered by shuffle in lineup
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org June 25, 2012 10:28PM
Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins
Sox at Twins
The facts: 7:05, CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.
The starters: Gavin Floyd (5-7, 5.20) vs. Liam Hendriks (0-4, 7.39).
Updated: July 27, 2012 6:26AM
MINNEAPOLIS — It got to the point where Gordon Beckham, so comfortable and accustomed to batting second, stopped checking the lineup card when he came to work every day.
Then came Kevin Youkilis, whom manager Robin Ventura inserted into Beckham’s customary No. 2 spot in the order on Youkilis’ first day as a White Sox. Beckham was dropped to ninth, which he admitted gave him a small case of the creeps.
“It brings back some bad memories of when I was hitting terrible,’’ said Beckham, who has held down the 2-spot since May 7 by raising his average from .217 to .249 since then. “That was the only thing.’’
Beckham is a big boy who sees the potential of a strengthened lineup with Youkilis.
“I haven’t heard from [the coaching staff], and they didn’t owe me an explanation,’’ he said. “They put me in there every day, and that’s all I ask.’’
Beckham was batting .409 in his previous six games and .327 in his previous 14.
“He’ll be fine,’’ Ventura said. “It puts him into a nice spot. We’ve had issues at the bottom, too, so it just extends our lineup.’’
Youkiliks has batted in all nine spots in his career. He’s a .295 hitter with a .394 on-base percentage batting second.
“I’ve been to the World Series and playoffs in the 2-spot, so it’s not unfamiliar territory to me,’’ he said. “One thing I’ve done in my career is hit everywhere in the lineup. So it’s just a spot in the batting order, and things can change in a week. I don’t take too much emphasis on where I’m hitting.”
Rookie Jordan Danks, who has worn No. 20, surrendered the number to the veteran Youkilis. Danks is now No. 7.
Danks said he had to choose between the traded-away Brent Lillibridge’s 18 or 7. His birthday is Aug. 7, and seven is his mother’s favorite number.
It’s customary for the player who gives up a number to be compensated.
“He said he’ll hook me up,’’ Danks said. “I don’t know what that means, but dream big I guess, right?’’
Philip Humber (elbow) threw 40 pitches on the side Sunday — fastballs and changeups only — and will throw another bullpen session Wednesday. John Danks (shoulder) played catch Monday and will do the same Tuesday.
Pitching coach Don Cooper said Humber’s session went well. Danks still is experiencing some soreness.
“In some ways it feels better, and in other ways it feels the same,’’ Danks said. “I have to let it heal and deal with it, but it’s tough. I’m getting impatient.’’
While the acquisition of Youkilis gave the Sox’ clubhouse a lift, there also was a certain sadness as the business side of baseball hit home. Lillibridge, traded to Boston, was a highly respected teammate.
“A good buddy of mine,’’ pitcher Gavin Floyd said.
Lillibridge was “the first close friend” and teammate of Floyd traded away during his career.
“We got to talk at the airport [Sunday night],’’ Floyd said. “And it’s not like we won’t remain friends. But I’m excited for him. He’s excited, and it will probably work out for the best for him.’’