Currently on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Charlotte after breaking a bone in his left hand, Beckham was a surprise lineup entry on Monday and Tuesday at shortstop, the position he played when he was drafted out of the University of Georgia.
The move caught the fancy of conspiracy theorists who suggested that perhaps the White Sox might consider trading Alexei Ramirez if things were going far from planned by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Nobody was close to admitting that, though.
“We worked him out there at spring training,” manager Robin Ventura said. “It’s just options (since) when everybody starts getting healthy you can only fit so many people in certain sports. Alexei’s the shortstop. But in case you need somebody there, is he able to do that?”
If he can do it, it would be more as an infrequent fill in for Ramirez when he had a day off. So far, Ramirez has played every inning of every game this year with Ventura not expected to give him a break any time soon.
“(Ramirez) wants to play every day but you do have to have a fallback because there are so many spots on the roster,” Ventura said. “How we make those moves and who’s going to be that guy, you don’t know until Gordon’s ready to come back and then you go from there. For him, you know he can play third base, he’s played it before. He won’t play there. He’s going to play second base. But in the end you do have options if he can do it and feel comfortable doing it.”
Even if Ramirez was lost for the season because of injury, it would seem unlikely that Beckham would take over at shortstop.
“I want him to play second base here, but for one game, or if something happens, before you could get somebody up here, would he be able to do it?” Ventura said. “He did it in spring training. He didn’t play a game there but he worked out and you start to find out if he’s comfortable.”
As for when Beckham might return to the White Sox, Ventura did not sound as if it would happen by Wednesday. There is a better chance of it happening over the weekend or next week when the White Sox are playing four games against the Cubs (Monday and Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Field and May 29-30 at Wrigley Field).