White Sox

'Locked in' Gordon Beckham likes playing third base


'Locked in' Gordon Beckham likes playing third base

DETROIT — Gordon Beckham likes how playing third base this season has affected him in all aspects of the game.

A day after he turned in three spectacular defensive plays, the White Sox infielder said playing third has forced him to be more assertive and it has had some carry over to the plate. Beckham’s glove at the hot corner has earned rave reviews from the staff and coaches alike.

“It allows me to be more aggressive,” Beckham said. “Obviously you have to be a little more aggressive on defense, but I think it helps my offense too. That kind of mindset, an aggressive mindset, helps on the offensive end as well.”

[MORE: Ventura on Friday's controversial play: 'We all missed it']

He only has 13 plate appearances, but Beckham is off to a solid start with a .333/.385/.583 slash line, a homer and three RBIs. But what has been even more impressive to manager Robin Ventura is Beckham’s heads-up play and how evident it is over at third.

“I get a little more of the Gordon phenomenon that was here when he first came up, hearing about him, because he’s good,” Ventura said.

“He gets off the ball well. He’s got a strong arm. He made some great plays yesterday, not only just gloving, but the decision-making and things like that. I think there’s something to playing that side of the infield, where as soon as its hit, you have to react — it’s not sit back and think about it. And I think he’s better off sometimes being that kind of player.”

[SHOP: Get the latest White Sox gear here]

Beckham likes that he has to be more alert than when he was at second base, where he has appeared in 632 of 762 career games. Playing all over the infield and returning to a White Sox clubhouse loaded with new faces has given Beckham a fresh start, he said.

“At second base, I feel like you can get a little bit lazy because you have more time,” Beckham said. “That kind of attitude is more of a passive type of attitude. Third base and shortstop, you have to really be aggressive with going to get balls.

“That’s kind of fun. If you are not in the game for that pitch, it might be hit really hard at you and you are going to miss it. You have to be locked in.”

The next Mark Buehrle? Maybe Dallas Keuchel is best bet for White Sox in free agency

The next Mark Buehrle? Maybe Dallas Keuchel is best bet for White Sox in free agency

SAN DIEGO — We've talked a lot about Madison Bumgarner. We've wondered why the White Sox aren't more heavily linked to Gerrit Cole. We watched as they made the high bid for Zack Wheeler, only for him to take less money to pitch for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Maybe the best answer for the White Sox starting-pitching problem is someone else entirely. Maybe it's the next Mark Buehrle.

That's a comp that ought to get White Sox fans excited. After all Buehrle is one of the biggest icons in franchise history, a tremendous pitcher, defender and World Series winner. Well, Dallas Keuchel fits those descriptions, too, and it led to one bold prediction from one of the most plugged-in people in the game as the Winter Meetings got started Monday.

"My prediction is — not sourced reporting, this is a prediction — that Dallas Keuchel is a White Sock (by the end of the Winter Meetings)," MLB.com's Jon Morosi said on the White Sox Talk Podcast. "He reminds me — his ability to field the position, lefty — there’s a little Buehrle there with Keuchel. I think that he fits, and I would hope that’s part of the White Sox sales pitch to him.

"I look at Buehrle and Keuchel as being similar pitchers, both athletic. There’s something about Keuchel pitching in that uniform that looks right to me."

OK, so maybe it's less of a comp and more of a hunch, but indeed there are similarities between the two. They're both four-time Gold Glove winners. They both won a World Series, Buehrle with the White Sox in 2005 and Keuchel with the Houston Astros in 2017. They're both left-handed, something that the White Sox could use right now to balance out their right-handed heavy rotation.

Perhaps most importantly for the White Sox, Keuchel is presently available. He's one of three oft-discussed mid-tier free-agent pitchers, along with Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu, who could be on the White Sox radar in the wake of Wheeler's decision to pitch in Philly. Rick Hahn's front office showed with its reported high bid for Wheeler that it's willing to spend big to add to the rotation. Perhaps the gargantuan sum speculated to go to Cole is a tad outside the realm of possibility — for many more teams than just the White Sox — but Keuchel could be the guy the team's been trying to find to pair with Lucas Giolito at the top of the rotation.

Keuchel has the experience of going through a rebuild and coming out the other end a world champion, helpful in telling these young White Sox how to get it done. He's done something Buehrle never did: capture a Cy Young Award, which he won in 2015. More recently, he helped lead the Atlanta Braves to an NL East championship, posting a 3.75 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 112.2 innings over 19 starts in 2019.

Most importantly, perhaps, Keuchel would provide stability and reliability in a rotation that, while talented, has plenty of question marks. Will Giolito's transformation be permanent? Will Michael Kopech be the same flamethrower he was prior to Tommy John surgery? Will Dylan Cease shake off a rocky first taste of the big leagues? Will Reynaldo Lopez find some consistency? Will Carlos Rodon be able to contribute much in 2020?

Keuchel comes with far fewer question marks, and hearing his name next to Buehrle's should give White Sox fans a clearer picture of what he could bring to the South Side.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

White Sox Talk Podcast: MLB.com's Jon Morosi joins to discuss Gerrit Cole and the Sox meaning business this winter


White Sox Talk Podcast: MLB.com's Jon Morosi joins to discuss Gerrit Cole and the Sox meaning business this winter

Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber are at the MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego.

MLB.com's Jon Morosi joins them to discuss the latest on Gerrit Cole (0:30) and the White Sox meaning business this winter (3:00). Plus, Jon says who he thinks is more likely to land in the Sox outfield: Marcell Ozuna or Nicholas Castellanos? (5:00)

When all is said and done, what will the White Sox do this week? The four guys give their predictions. Morosi expects a big name, free-agent starter to come to the South Side. (12:00)

Chuck, Guff and Vinnie then discuss what is fact and fiction about Marcell Ozuna (18:00) and have more of the rumors from Day 1 of the Winter Meetings.

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast