Beckham puts his foot down after rough start

Beckham puts his foot down after rough start

Beckham puts his foot down after rough start
CHICAGO -- Gordon Beckham hopes to put his foot down on this season-opening slump by literally putting his foot down in each at-bat.

The talented White Sox second baseman exited Tuesday's 3-2 loss to Baltimore hitting a mere .103 (3-for-29) without an RBI but with 11 strikeouts. His swing has regularly featured a front left foot lift, but following a third-inning strikeout against Jake Arrieta on Monday, Beckham made a change.

That lift became a less pronounced step during two hard-hit fly balls and a popup to second. It's progress made in Beckham's mind.

"It was 0-for-4 last night, but it was a strikeout and then hard hit, a miss and relatively better than I've been doing," said Beckham, sitting in front of his locker before Tuesday's game. "There was a lot of progress there which people probably don't see but that I saw last night.

"I actually made a really good adjustment. And then today, I came in and they said something that reaffirmed that I made the right decision. Then we furthered that because they kind of reinforced what I did last night was what they were wanting, what they were kind of hoping would happen.

"I'm not getting ready on time," said Beckham of his plate approach. "We are trying to clean that up. If I can get ready on time, then it has been said there's nothing wrong with my swing. It's a timing thing, making sure I'm getting my foot down in terms of being able to see the pitch."

Beckham hit just .230 with 10 homers and 44 RBIs in 2011, and his statistics have steadily declined since his 2009 breakout when he won The Sporting News' American League Rookie of the Year award and the Players Choice Outstanding Rookie award. A rough start clearly is not what Beckham was looking for, but having survived two hits in his first 28 at-bats during his rookie season, Beckham is confident he can battle out of this early funk.

"Once I have a good game here and it's coming, once I have a good game, the average and the whole thing will start bumping up, and I'll start getting in the swing of things and it will be everyday stuff," Beckham said confidently. "But it's frustrating to start the beginning of the year how I started.

"I've been here before. I just have to keep working and there's light at the end of the tunnel in my opinion. That's a good thing. I just know that there's more in there.

"There's too much time left for me that I'm excited to get what's coming to me," Beckham said. "I'm not going to let however many games I've played get me down. It's just not going to happen."

White Sox manager Robin Ventura added Tuesday that any talks he has with Beckham simply focus on how he can get better in 2012.

"We are worried about what we are doing now," Ventura said. "We are worried about becoming confident and aware of this year rather than something that happened in the last couple of years."