Beckham swinging hot bat on Triple-A rehab stint

Beckham swinging hot bat on Triple-A rehab stint

OAKLAND -- This was the series Gordon Beckham, the Opening Day second baseman, was possibly going to return from the disabled list. Instead, while the White Sox were opening a series in Oakland on Friday night, Beckham was hitting the game winner for Triple-A Charlotte.

The demand is there for Beckham's return to the White Sox. The timetable?

"In the next week, if not sooner," manager Robin Ventura said before Saturday's afternoon game against the A's.

Beckham, on the DL since April 10, appears to be doing fine with his surgically repaired left hand. He's 11-of-32 with two doubles and four RBIs in his rehab stint.

Ventura could hardly hold back a smile while discussing Beckham's return to the offensively challenged White Sox.

"It's up to him, really -- we'll welcome him any time," Ventura said. "It's just, when's the right time, does he feel he's ready to come up and ready to play? .. I let him know that I'm ready for him whenever he thinks he's ready.

"But you don't want a guy coming back off of what he's done and not be 100 percent ready to go. We don't want it to be a, 'I think I'm ready.'"

Willie Bans is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.