White Sox infield notes: Gordon Beckham sore, Jeff Keppinger rebounding, Angel Sanchez outrighted

Come get some. - Brian Kersey

Hand soreness has delayed the second baseman's return to the majors, but the White Sox are finally in a position to be patient

Gordon Beckham's return to the White Sox has been delayed by some soreness in his surgically repaired left hand. Scott Merkin's story has quotes from Rick Hahn, and pretty much all the detail you'd want, even beyond this excerpt:

"Initially, when you have this type of surgery, the general timeline is at least six weeks from the surgical date, which is next Tuesday," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn "There was some scuttlebutt that he could be back as soon as this weekend, but that would have been ahead of schedule.

"So we are still kind of on that original time frame. His hand and the ligaments have to heal and get used to their new configuration in there without the specific hamate bone. [White Sox head athletic trainer] Herm [Schneider] and our doctors spoke with the operating surgeon last night, and this morning came up with this treatment plan for the next couple of days. It's something that happens. It's nothing to be alarmed about."

Beckham started his rehab stint with five hits in his first nine at-bats. But after a three-hit game in Buffalo, he's gone 2-for-13. That probably has some to do with sample sizes, but you could see him working out his left hand during at-bats during his three-hit game in Buffalo on Sunday.

Beckham-hand_medium

Beckham-hand2_medium

So he won't return to action until Wednesday, the third game of a four-game series against Toledo.

Star-divide

The good news? The Sox don't need Beckham's services as desperately as they did before, because Jeff Keppinger has finally started looking like Jeff Keppinger.

He came through with two more hits against Miami on Friday night, including the walk-off single. He's hit safely in his last six games and eight of his last nine. He's batting .344/.382/.500 over that stretch, and while he's still not a particularly fluid second baseman, he's made key plays without the miscues that plagued his first few weeks filling in for Beckham.

He's still got a long way to go, because this recent hot stretch has boosted his OPS all the way ... to .470. But there's reason to believe that Keppinger would take being dropped in the order as a relief, and not an insult. He chalked up his success in Tampa Bay to Joe Maddon letting him swing away, and maybe the constraints of the typical second-spot responsibilities cramped his style. Either way, if the Sox have seen the worst and they'll be getting the standard Keppinger package from here on out, he'll have his uses.

Star-divide

Angel Sanchez might not be of use to the Sox anymore, though. With Beckham getting reps at short with the Knights and Tyler Greene hanging in there, Sanchez's return to a major-league roster has been blocked.

The Sox placed Sanchez on waivers on Thursday, and he cleared them. Since the Sox selected him from the Angels in the Rule 5 draft, they had to offer him back. The Angels, who are chock-full of Sanchez-type players, passed on the reacquisition.

So after all the red tape, the Sox will still retain Sanchez's services. They outrighted him to Charlotte today, which frees up a spot on the previously full 40-man roster.

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