Beckham to undergo surgery for wrist fracture
Keppinger to slide over to second; Gillaspie, Morel among fill-ins at third
WASHINGTON -- An MRI on Gordon Beckham's left wrist Thursday revealed a fracture of the hamate bone that will require surgery.
Beckham will be out of action for six weeks, the standard recovery time for a hamate injury, although the surgery has not yet been scheduled. The injury took place in the top of the second of Tuesday's 8-7 loss to the Nationals on a 2-1 pitch from Gio Gonzalez. Beckham stayed in the game until the bottom of the third, when Angel Sanchez replaced him in the field.
Beckham was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Friday. Right-hander Deunte Heath was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte.
"I never actually have broken a bone in my body, so when I was moving it around the last couple days, I actually felt like it's something I never felt before," Beckham said. "The MRI confirmed what I thought. I really had a hard time gripping that bat after I came out of the game. It's frustrating, but it is what it is. We'll get the surgery done and I'll be back."
"Gordon looked pretty good and had gotten off to a nice start. I know he was feeling confident and he's frustrated," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn. "On the plus side of things, this is something that happens fairly commonly and has a fairly standard recovery process. Once the time elapses, hopefully he can pick right up where he left off."
Through seven games, Beckham had six singles in 19 at-bats with one RBI. His defense at second base was as solid as it had been the past three years at this position, with a diving catch on Lorenzo Cain's seventh-inning line drive up the middle quite possibly saving Chris Sale's 1-0 Opening Day victory.
As Hahn pointed out, Beckham looked good and felt good approach-wise at the plate.
"There's a lot to be excited about. I think there still is," said Beckham of his start to 2013. "It just will have to take a little rest time and get going again in June or the 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."
"Last year, he had periods where he was not necessarily giving at-bats away but not [having] all quality at-bats," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "This year, the consistency of quality at-bats was doubled. He was putting it on the barrel consistently. That's the name of the game when you're up here is putting it on the barrel and being balanced, and he was doing that as well as anybody for us."
The corresponding roster move will be made by the White Sox prior to the start of this weekend's Cleveland series Friday, and the team has plenty of options. It looks as if Jeff Keppinger will move from third base to second base, where he has started the past two games against the Nationals and has played more than any other position in his career.
Conor Gillaspie certainly will get a look at third base against right-handed pitchers, and Ventura has confidence in Angel Sanchez's ability across the infield.
"You could tell the pain he was in it was something more than a strain," said Ventura of Beckham's injury. "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.