Just no defense for White Sox' situation

Updated 5/13/2013 11:39 PM
  • White Sox center fielder Alejandro De Aza (30) and Alexei Ramirez fail to come up with a pop fly against the Twins in the eighth inning.

    White Sox center fielder Alejandro De Aza (30) and Alexei Ramirez fail to come up with a pop fly against the Twins in the eighth inning. Associated Press

Hurry back, Gordon Beckham.

True, he was batting a promising .316 (6-for-19) before fracturing his left hamate bone while swinging during an April 9 interleague game at Washington.

But Beckham's prowess at second base has really been missed, and the White Sox' defense has been brutal while he has been on the disabled list.

Beckham is hoping to begin a minor-league rehab assignment soon, and he's likely to be back in the lineup when the Sox open a three-game home series against Miami on May 24.

When he does return, maybe Beckham's Gold Glove ability will rub off on the rest of his teammates. The White Sox entered Monday night's game at Minnesota with the most errors (28) in the American League.

Last year the Sox committed the fewest errors (70) in the major leagues.

So, what has changed?

Jeff Keppinger is new at third base, even though he has spent most of his time at second since Beckham went down. Tyler Flowers is the new catcher, but he's supposed to be a much better defender than A.J. Pierzynski.

After that, this is basically the same White Sox team that consistently caught the baseball in 2012.

All signs point to Beckham's absence as the reason for the alarming defensive drop-off, so the Sox can only hope his return to the field helps clean up a huge mess.

Before Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Angels at U.S. Cellular Field, manager Robin Ventura called a team meeting. You can bet the porous defensive play was addressed.

"When you see it happen, you don't want to be the next guy to do it," Ventura said of the rash of errors. "I've been through it, too. You have to get to a point where -- and it sounds bad -- you don't care about being the next guy, that you just make the play.

"And you become a reactionary (player) instead of thinking it too far ahead. Let your physical abilities take over and just play the game."

In Monday's 10-3 loss to the Twins, shortstop Alexei Ramirez was the next guy, again.

With the Sox holding a 2-0 lead, Ramirez muffed a potential double play in the third inning and Minnesota cashed in with 4 runs, only 1 of them earned. Ramirez has 6 errors after committing 12 all of last season.

He also was involved in another fielding blunder in the eighth inning when he failed to catch leadoff hitter Oswaldo Arcia's pop fly to short left field that went for a double and set up another 4-run inning.

In addition to hitting 2 solo home runs off White Sox starter Hector Santiago (1-2), Minnesota center fielder Aaron Hicks robbed Adam Dunn of a 2-run homer with a highlight catch in the sixth inning.

•Follow Scot's White Sox and baseball reports on Twitter@scotgregor, and check out his Chicago's Inside Pitch blog at dailyherald.com.

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