Gordon Beckham at the plate during Wednesday's Rickwood Classic. (Thanks to SoxFanOnTheNorthwestSide)
The White Sox top pick of the '08 draft -- a guy you've probably heard of, Gordon Beckham's his name -- was promoted to AAA following Wednesday's Annual Rickwood Classic game. Beckham was hitting .299/.366/.497 for the Barons, and .350/.380(approx.)/.575 in his last 10 games since returning from an abdominal strain. At the time of his promotion his 17 doubles ranked second in the Southern League despite the time missed with the ab injury.
Reading between the lines of this move isn't exceptionally difficult. Charlotte is a terrible club trying to gain acceptance for a new stadium, and completely lacks any drawing power. Beckham is a fast-rising, probable future star. And most importantly, the White Sox have three positions they could conceivably use him at on the big club; 3B, 2B, SS (in decending order of likelihood).
Many of your top hitters in the game didn't need any time in AAA. The best hitters show you they can play without needing to make a pit stop at all the minor league affiliates. Beckham appears like he might be one of those guys. It doesn't seem necessary for them to get him some time on the AAA club unless there was some other factor... Like a certain Cuban who got a record $10+M bonus and isn't moving off the hot corner any time soon, and a certain former first rounder who can't hit a major league fastball.
Josh Fields has almost completely worn out his welcome, going from the starting lineup and #2 hitter, to the bottom of the order, to Ozzie's doghouse and splitting time with Wilson Betemit and Jayson Nix, to maybe very soon back in AAA. So when you see Beckham's name in the Knight's lineup tomorrow, expect it to be followed with a 3B.
There's been no official word from the White Sox other than Stoney making the same seemingly logical conclusion. I'll add some colorful quotes here should we get any from the local beat guys. Incidentally, it was fun to follow the beat reporters on Twitter in the hours after the story broke. Some of them didn't /confirm/ the story until about the 3rd inning of the game.
First up, Fields (via Cowley):
"We don’t have any control over it," Fields said. "It happens with any player drafted in the first round, there is some kind of hype that comes out with it. I remember before I even played pro ball, Joe Crede was struggling at the time and the talk was when was I going to be ready to be up? It’s just a part of the game and you deal with it. You try and control what’s going on with yourself. I feel good about where I am and getting out of that little slump I was in. That’s all you can do."
Jered Weaver Is The Original Sonnanstine
There was a game Wednesday night too. For the 3rd straight series the White Sox had won the opening two games of a series, and for the 3rd straight time they came away without closing out the sweep.
Though in the Sox defense, this one was decided before the game even started. After all, Jered Weaver was the scheduled starter. The best thing you can say about the Sox against Weaver is that they've never allowed him to get a complete game. They've also never scored more than a single run against him in any contest, but who's counting?
Who am I kidding? I'm counting. That's 5 starts, 2 runs. And his ERA against the Sox went up to 0.52 tonight.
Jered Weaver vs. White Sox
Blah. Blah. Blah. Advance scouting. Blah, blah, blah, Greg Walker. Blah, blah, blah, new gameplan. Blah. Just, blah.