In Tuesday night's game at Washington, Gordon Beckham hit his left wrist on catcher Wilson Ramos' helmet in the follow-through of his swing. While it was first expected that he'd just miss a few days to a week, we've now learned that he has a fractured hamate bone in his wrist and will be out up to or around 6 weeks.
The tough keeps getting tougher for Beckham, who was likely getting his final opportunity in 2013 to break through as a servicable, above average hitter. He was off to a solid early start to the season, hitting .316 through his first 7 games, and he was actually hitting the ball much better than that number indicates.
With his batting stance lowered and crouched more than it has been in the past, Sox coaches were looking for a better approach from Gordon this year, encouraging him to shoot the ball the other way while still giving him free reign to get aggressive and turn on the ball sometimes.
Even though he's only been in the low .230's average-wise the last 2 seasons, his 16 home runs last year were very encouraging, as it seemed the the only part of his offense he needed to improve upon was the consistency.
He's also expected to be a favorite for the second base Gold Glove Award in the American League this season after many thought he should've been the recipient last year.
While we shouldn't throw in the flag on Beckham just yet, as he'll likely be back before June rolls around, we do need to shift our focus to how Robin Ventura will adjust his club going forward.
It seems pretty safe to say that Jeff Keppinger will move over to second base with Conor Gillaspie filling in at third until they either prove themselves or prove insufficient.
Although you never want to consider an injury to be a good thing, it is good at least that we'll get an extended look at Gillaspie, 25, who wants to make a push to be the Sox full-time third baseman going forward. He's also off to a good start to the year, collecting a hit in 5 of his first 12 at bats while playing stellar defense.
It's also nice that he'll add a lefty bat to the order most days, giving the Sox three regular lefties instead of two.
What Comes Next?
It's also been announced that a roster move corresponding with Beckham being placed on the disabled list will be made on Friday, with either Brent Morel or Steve Tolleson expected to get the call-up.
If you ask me, it'd make more sense to have Tolleson be the guy so that Morel can continue to get his consistent reps in AAA, that is unless of course Ventura would rather have Morel start over Gillaspie … but I think that's somewhat unlikely. A platoon between Gillaspie and Morel could also be an option.
Steve Tolleson is a lifetime .225 hitter (2010 with Oakland, 2012 with Baltimore) in 120 at bats after hitting just .183 last season. If called up, he'd be used pretty sparingly considering Angel Sanchez is already the team's primary utility infielder. But Tolleson's versatility, as he can play in the infield and outfield, is probably what would make him the best choice over guys like Morel in addition to others in AAA like Carlos Sanchez, Jordan Danks, or Jared Mitchell.
Tolleson has had the most success so far in Charlotte so far this April, hitting .320 with one home run and three doubles through 7 games.
Don't Rule Out Greene
There is one more dark horse in the conversation: new acquisition Tyler Greene.
Greene, a former infielder for the Cardinals and Astros may have the most upside of all the options, as his potential has gotten him plenty of attention since his days in the St. Louis organization … so definitely do not rule him out.