An already not-so-strong position for the Chicago White Sox may have just gotten a little weaker over the next few months, as the team received the worst-case scenario news on second baseman Gordon Beckham:
MRI showed the fractured hamate bone in Beckham’s left wrist. He will have surgery next week and be out six weeks
— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) April 11, 2013
While losing a regular player is definitely a blow, the potential of having to play without Beckham was something that the team had prepared for. Yes, he’s hitting a surprising .316 through 19 at-bats, but that’s a bit of a mirage, as his .316 slugging percentage, .649 OPS and o.20 BB/K wasn’t really going to help the team out much in the long term.
So now, Chicago is forced into plan B, which happens to be the exact reason why Jeff Keppinger was brought in to begin with.
As expected, second is where the veteran will go, and though his uncanny .133/.133/.133 triple-slash through his first 30 PA isn’t exactly inspiring a whole lot of confidence right now, he’ll likely represent a significant upgrade to Beckham up the middle when all is said and done.
Third base, however, is another question altogether.
Conor Gillaspie was the man who got the call at the hot corner on Wednesday, and the former first-round pick has impressed with a .417 batting average over his first 12 PA thus far. That said, this was a 25-year old projected to be a capable backup for 2013, and whether he’ll be ready for a full-time role is hardly a sure thing.
The San Francisco Giants certainly didn’t think so when they traded him this offseason, but will Gillaspie, who was projected to be a high-average hitter and now has hits in three of his last four games, translate this early-season success forward?
That uncertainty doesn’t particularly put the White Sox in an ideal place, and it’s not as though there’s a whole lot of options there either. While a corresponding move has yet to be made for Beckham, and Joey Nowak of MLB.com does report that the Angel Sanchez is in the mix, it’s likely that the team once again hedge their bets on Brent Morel as a potential platoon-mate or backup in case Gillaspie doesn’t work out.
Feeling better yet? Exactly.
This team’s worked in the offseason to bolster its infield depth for a scenario like this, and that’s about to be seriously tested over the next couple of months or so.
That said, the team’s offense is languishing at 25th in the bigs with just 31 runs scored so far, and the backup plans in the infield being forced into action could escalate the situation rather quickly.