Chicago White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham started the 2014 season in several unfortunate places. First on the DL and then in a 6-for-34 stretch in his first 10 games of the season. That changed pretty quickly when the White Sox began a series against the Chicago Cubs.
After going 1-for-6 in the first game of four against the Cubs two nights ago, Beckham hit the go-ahead home run both last night and tonight and went a combined 5-for-10 at the plate with four RBIs. While it’s a good sign for the White Sox to see such positive production from Beckham, these at bats must be taken with many grains of salt.
The fact is that Beckham has a reputation as a Cubbie killer, whether the White Sox are playing their crosstown rival at Wrigley Field or U.S. Cellular Field.
Entering into tonight’s 8-3 White Sox win, Beckham had a lifetime .356/.408/.586 slash line against the Cubs, his highest career batting average against any team that he has more than 100 career at bats against. With his history of production against the Cubs, it’s not surprising at all that Beckham’s bat decided to heat up at Wrigley Field.
The White Sox put added pressure to succeed on the back of their starting second baseman earlier today, by demoting Jordan Danks and keeping Marcus Semien on the roster with Conor Gillaspie’s reinstatement from the DL. Semien remains a front office favorite despite demonstrating occasional growing pains both at the plate and in the field. If Beckham doesn’t produce consistently, he could find himself platooned or practicing his trade somewhere other than the South Side by the end of the season.
Maybe some at bats under the Wrigley Field lights were just what the doctor ordered for Beckham to get him going. However, after this series wraps up tomorrow, he still has a long way to go to prove that his performance in this series was a sign of positive momentum and more than just a historical habit.