Robin Ventura impressed with Gordon Beckham’s bounce-back year
BY TONI GINNETTI Staff Reporter August 11, 2013 8:32PM
Tigers AT WHITE SOX
The facts: 7:10 p.m., CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.
The starters: Doug Fister (10-5, 3.50 ERA) vs. Chris Sale (7-11, 2.77).
The REST OF tHE series
Tuesday: 7:10 p.m, Ch. 26, 670-AM, 97.5-FM. Max Scherzer (17-1, 2.84) vs. Hector Santiago (3-7, 3.43).
Wednesday: 1:10 p.m., CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM. Rick Porcello (8-6, 4.32) vs. John Danks (2-9, 4.52).
Updated: August 11, 2013 9:22PM
Gordon Beckham missed almost 50 games this season after surgery to remove the hamate bone in his left wrist, but he has been the White Sox’ steadiest hitter. He’s batting a team-best .299.
Beckham’s consistency is allowing manager Robin Ventura to move him around in the lineup.
Beckham batted second Sunday after leading off Saturday. He also has hit at the bottom of the order.
‘‘You can mess with the lineup a little bit now,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘There are times to kind of move guys around and see what fits.
‘‘The way Beckham has been swinging, he can bat pretty much anywhere.’’
Ventura said Beckham’s improvement from last year in an interrupted season has been an impressive accomplishment.
‘‘Even when he came back,’’ Ventura said, ‘‘I don’t think he was 100 percent. There are still little things that have changed in that approach. But being able to adapt and go with how they’re pitching him and still be able to play and swing and stay with it, that’s been the impressive part with watching Gordon from last year to this year.
‘‘For him to come back and pick up where he left off is a good sign.’’
Coming from Texas
The Sox, as expected, completed Friday’s trade of Alex Rios to the Rangers by acquiring minor-league infielder Leury Garcia, 22, a switch hitter.
Garcia will be assigned to Class AAA Charlotte after hitting .264 at Class AAA Round Rock for the Rangers. He had four homers, 19 RBI and 12 steals.
Garcia made the Rangers’ Opening Day roster and appeared in 25 games before being sent back to Round Rock.
‘‘He’s played every infield position except first and some center field,’’ general manager Rick Hahn said. ‘‘There’s a possibility he winds up in a super-utility role.
‘‘He has the defensive ability to be an every-day shortstop or second baseman. It’s going to come down to how much he hits ultimately to dictate his role.
‘‘Speed may be his best tool.’’
National television dictates many of the 3 p.m. Saturday start times for games, but it’s not to the liking of players.
‘‘It’s not a good start time for anybody,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘I didn’t like them [as a player].
‘‘I can remember in the playoffs, there’s always one game that got that start time, and you feel like you’re getting punished. It’s never a good time to hit.
‘‘I don’t know if pitchers like it, but as far as a hitter, it’s not a good time of day, whether it’s in Chicago or anywhere, to hit.’’
Tom Paciorek was honored before the game as one of the 1983 ‘‘Winning Ugly’’ team members. Then he stayed to fill in for ailing TV broadcaster Ken Harrelson, his former partner.