KANSAS CITY -- Gordon Beckham was expected to be back in the starting lineup for Double-A Birmingham on Saturday night after he was a late scratch prior to Friday's contest. Beckham was scheduled to play second and hit second Friday during an injury rehab assignment to test his strained left oblique.
"Nothing serious, but just felt like something was aching him and didn't want to take a chance on it," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Beckham's absence. "He knows to be really cautious with it just because, if it happens again, it's going to be worse. Just the history of knowing guys who have the injury, you do it that second time and it's going to be worse."
Ventura expected Beckham to be back at designated hitter until he felt completely ready to play the field. While Beckham does his rehab work for an injury that landed him on the disabled list to start the season, Marcus Semien is trying to take advantage of regular playing time.
The rookie made his third start at second Saturday to go with two starts at third and has a homer and double in the last two games after opening the season in a 0-for-13 funk. Semien wouldn't have been a lock to break camp with the team if Beckham was healthy, with the White Sox possibly choosing to let him play every day and use Leury Garcia in a utility role.
But Semien has definitely kept his name in play to stick at the big league level when Beckham returns.
"You're looking at how it makes us better, how it makes him better, you bring all those things into consideration and him getting an opportunity is a lot different than not having had this time to be up here," said Ventura of Semien. "Not too many guys get an opportunity like this, especially in the beginning of the year to start up here and show what you can do.
"For him to get an opportunity, it makes your decision a little tougher when Gordon is coming back, whenever that is," Ventura added.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.