After sitting out five straight games nursing a sore left wrist, White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham felt good enough to return to the starting lineup Friday night against the Royals.
"It's some soreness but no pain, so it's go time," Beckham said.
When he's been healthy this season, Beckham has been one of the few bright spots for the Sox. He was 0-for-3 with a walk against Kansas City and is batting .320.
Beckham hit the ball hard his first two times up against Royals starter James Shields, flying out to deep center both times. In his second at-bat, he missed a double down the right-field line by about an inch.
"It was one of those nights, and unfortunately they came with guys on base," Beckham said after the White Sox' 5-1 loss to K.C. "It stinks because it could have been a different game, I guess."
Manager Robin Ventura expects the Sox to be a better team with Beckham in the lineup.
"He was hitting stuff hard," Ventura said. "He had good at-bats all night. But that's the way the game is, it's not always fair."
There is still a chance ace White Sox relief pitcher Jesse Crain gets traded before Wednesday's nonwaiver deadline, but he'll still be on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder.
Crain hasn't felt good since throwing a bullpen session Tuesday. He's shutting everything down until early next week, and when he does resume throwing it will be initially light.
"Just take four or five days off, start throwing again next week, let it calm down and see where it goes from there," Crain said Friday. "I think our program coming back into it will be a little more conservative. We won't try to throw a pen probably as soon as we did, I think. Everybody was trying; obviously we wanted to be ready before the deadline."
Since he was in such high demand before going on the DL on June 30, interested teams could still acquire Crain in a trade before the deadline with the hunch he'll be healthy soon. The Sox can also move Crain in August, but he would have to clear waivers.
Block it out:
The Cardinals wanted to trade for shortstop Alexei Ramirez, but the White Sox turned it down.
Right fielder Alex Rios said no to a deal that would have sent him to the Yankees, one of the handful of teams on his no-trade list.
Both rumors were subsequently shot down, so it's been business as usual leading up to Wednesday's nonwaiver trade deadline. In other words, don't believe everything you read.
"There's a lot of stuff out there that's probably not true, but you know, that's what makes this time tough," Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Anytime a guy's name is put in there, you know, these guys are thinking and talking that stuff to each other and, having been through it, it's not easy."