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updated: 9/24/2013 10:45 PM

Rough season comes to end for Sox' Keppinger

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  • With just a .283 on-base percentage, Jeff Keppinger ranked 102nd out of 105 AL hitters with 400 or more at-bats.

      With just a .283 on-base percentage, Jeff Keppinger ranked 102nd out of 105 AL hitters with 400 or more at-bats.
    Associated Press

  • Josh Phegley, (36) is congratulated by teammates Jeff Keppinger, left, and Gordon Beckham (15) after his grand slam during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Detroit, Thursday, July 11, 2013.

      Josh Phegley, (36) is congratulated by teammates Jeff Keppinger, left, and Gordon Beckham (15) after his grand slam during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Detroit, Thursday, July 11, 2013.
    Associated Press

 
 

Not a good first season with the White Sox for Jeff Keppinger, to say the least.

Signed to a three-year, $12 million free-agent contract on Dec. 10 and expected to give the offense steady contact out of the No. 2 hole, Keppinger never was able to overcome a sluggish start.

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The 33-year-old infielder -- who is going to have season-ending shoulder surgery on Thursday -- finishes with a .253/.283/.317 hitting line along with 4 home runs and 40 RBI in 117 games.

Out of 105 American League hitters with 400 or more at-bats this year, Keppinger ranks 102nd with his .283 on-base percentage.

Keppinger broke his leg shortly after the 2012 season ended and wasn't able to complete his regular winter throwing program. He experienced some shoulder discomfort in spring training and apparently never felt 100 percent.

"It was off and on," Sox manager Robin Ventura told reporters. "It wasn't continuous where he couldn't use it. It kept bothering him over the course of the year. Hitting-wise he was fine, but anytime you put him out there in the field for an extended period of time it would start to creep up on him. Clean it up, and make sure he's ready to go in spring training."

Since he's under contract with the White Sox for two more years, Keppinger likely comes back next season as a utility infielder.

Ventura wasn't putting any blame on Keppinger for the Sox' miserable season.

"Nothing's pinned on him," Ventura said. "It started off slow just like we did, and it just never bounced back. Lately he's been swinging a lot better. His at-bats, minus the first part of the year, he had a pretty good year as far as doing what you would think, putting it in play and tough at-bats.

"That's kind of more of what you would expect of him. Like everybody else, you just want to forget about it and get ready for next year."

The Sox also announced left-handed relief pitcher David Purcey is done for the season and is going to have a second medical opinion on a strain in his left ulnar collateral ligament.

The White Sox hope rest is all that's needed for Purcey, who posted a surprising 2.13 ERA in 24 appearances.

"He's come a long way for me as far as when we first got to putting him in spots that aren't really crucial at that time and then kind of moved his way into pitching some meaningful innings and doing well," Ventura said. "He's come along way. He's done a pretty good job this year to where you give him an honest look at doing something."

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