CHICAGO -- Gordon Beckham returned to his more familiar second spot in the White Sox lineup Sunday, where he has been featured in 158 career games, after leading off for the fifth time on Saturday.
Manager Robin Ventura admitted to being able to mess with the lineup a little bit more now, looking for the right fit for the future. He also believes Beckham possesses the necessary characteristics to consistently handle hitting second.
"He had those earlier, when he started the year and when he came back from Spring Training, of how he was swinging the bat. It's not a surprise," said Ventura of Beckham, who has 19 homers and 76 RBIs lifetime out of the No. 2 slot. "He can bat pretty much anywhere in the lineup. The other day, he was fifth. The way he's been swinging, he can pretty much go anywhere.
"Being able to adapt and go with how they're pitching him and still be able to play and swing and stay with it, that's been the impressive part with watching Gordon from last year into this year. You don't want anyone to go through an extended period where they don't swing the bat or do anything when they get hurt. But for him to come back and pick up where he left off is a good sign."
Beckham's .305 average would be tied for eighth in the American League this season with the necessary at-bats, which he doesn't have because of a fractured hamate bone in his left hand sustained in the season's second week. He walked a career-high four times Saturday, joking afterward that there have been some weeks where he hasn't walked four times.
Those free passes simply were an offshoot of Beckham's consistent plate approach.
"I'm trying to have good at-bats, make sure I don't go up there and do something stupid," Beckham said. "You just hit the ball hard when you get a place to do it. Obviously, you can't control where it goes once you hit it, but I'm just trying to hit the ball hard and stay within myself."
White Sox acquire L. Garcia from Rangers
CHICAGO -- Leury Garcia became the player to be named in the return from Texas in Friday's trade that sent Alex Rios and $1 million in cash considerations to the Rangers.
Garcia, 22, is hitting .264 with four home runs, 19 RBIs, 12 stolen bases and 31 runs scored in 47 games this season with Triple-A Round Rock of the Pacific Coast League. He has made 42 appearances at shortstop and five in center field.
The 5-foot-10, 160-pound Garcia made the Rangers' Opening Day roster, batting .192 (10-for-52) with eight runs scored in 25 games. He started nine at second base and two each at shortstop and third before being optioned to Round Rock on June 15.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn views the native of Santiago in the Dominican Republic as a top-notch utility player, at the very least. But his combination of defense and speed represents a needed addition in the overall retooling process moving into '14.
"There's a possibility he winds up in a super utility role," Hahn said. "He has the defensive ability to be an everyday shortstop or second baseman.
"It's going to come down to how much he hits ultimately to dictate his role. There's little question he's ready defensively to contribute at the big league level. His bat has to fully develop.
"Speed may well be his best tool. He's a plus-plus runner, plus arm and defensive player, switch-hitter, and has the positive of his versatility," Hahn said. "Even if the bat doesn't quite develop to reach his maximum upside, he has some value on the big league club. Then it would be about figuring out the best way to use it."
Garcia's best season came in 2012, when he hit .292 with 11 triples, 31 stolen bases and 55 runs scored in 100 games with Double-A Frisco. He was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday, but he figures to be a September callup, if not before. The White Sox could have just let Rios' contract go to Texas, but they negotiated a deal to get a player of Garcia's potential.
"He's making some adjustments, cutting down length of swing, becoming more consistent with keeping the ball out of the air and on the ground and line drives, which is common for a young kid," Hahn said. "If he makes those adjustments, we could very well have a quality middle infielder."
Ventura still sees quality at-bats coming from Konerko
CHICAGO -- The future of Paul Konerko most likely won't be discussed by the White Sox captain until after the present season has come to a close. That point was made abundantly clear by the focused leader at the start of Spring Training.
Konerko again reinforced that point after Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Twins by basically pushing aside even general questions on the topic.
"We'll just worry about that when the time comes," Konerko said. "There's a million things. There's a lot of moving parts to it."
But White Sox manager Robin Ventura talked in broad strokes about this specific topic prior to Sunday's series finale with the Twins. Konerko entered the contest hitting .245 with nine homers and 40 RBIs, although he has 10 RBIs over 18 games since returning from a trip to the disabled list because of a lower back strain.
Ventura understands that Konerko's bat speed at age 37 is different than what it was at 27 or 30. That fact holds true for any player. He also sees a player continuing to produce quality at-bats and could do so into the immediate future.
"You can still see the way he has at-bats like he did yesterday," said Ventura. "He does have good at-bats and is able to adjust and make up for it."
Konerko spoke with Ventura earlier in the season about handling this current campaign, in regard to using him at designated hitter more or giving him one game off in a potential doubleheader, as examples. It was more about managing Konerko's 15th season in Chicago and not about whether he'll play for the White Sox or another team next season or retire.
As of Sunday, Konerko's 424 homers with the White Sox leave him 25 behind Frank Thomas for the franchise record. He ranks in the top five in 11 other club categories.
Whether those numbers continue to build with the White Sox ultimately is up to Konerko and the team's front office.
"He's not going to play for another 10 years. That much everybody knows," Ventura said. "How much he plays longer than this season is really up to him. He's had spurts where it's good and then injuries and things that there have been periods where it has slowed him down.
"That's natural for everyone when you get to a point in your career that he's at right now. Ultimately, he's the guy who has to figure that out and decide."
A. Garcia likes view from center field
CHICAGO -- During his three games with the White Sox, Avisail Garcia already has played in both center field and right field. The 22-year-old has no real preference, but seems to enjoy the view more from center.
"When they are hitting, you can see everything from center field and you feel more comfortable there," Garcia said. "You know where the ball is.
"But wherever they put me, I'm going to play hard. I'll like it. Just try to focus on my game."
Garcia is new to the White Sox, but as manager Robin Ventura stressed Saturday, he's certainly not new to the Major Leagues. He played 53 games for the Tigers over the past two seasons, including 12 postseason games and three in the World Series, before being dealt to Chicago on July 30 as part of a three-team trade that sent Jake Peavy to the Red Sox.
So the adjustment period for Garcia is more about switching teams than going from the Minors to the Majors. That adjustment was aided before Alex Rios was traded to Texas on Friday by Garcia playing eight games with Triple-A Charlotte, where Knights manager Joel Skinner was impressed by the versatile talent.
"He has some power, drove runs in, had a couple of infield hits, threw a kid out at the plate, showed arm strength," said Skinner. "He's a big strider. He chews up ground on the open road, which you see on the bases also. There were balls hit to the left side of the diamond he beat out or where infielders tried to rush their play.
"It's an interesting time for a young player. He just got traded, it's a new clubhouse, and there's the adjustment period. He's a nice, quiet young man and well mannered."
Third to first
• White Sox hitting coach Jeff Manto didn't want to get into what the White Sox need offensively for 2014 when asked about the future prior to Sunday's contest.
"I just know that everybody has worked hard," Manto said. "They are putting the time in, nobody is giving up and these guys, they want to play. So we are going to keep pushing to play."
• Dayan Viciedo will get an MRI on his sore left thumb Monday after being out of action Sunday for a second straight day and missing his third game out of the last four. Viciedo jammed that thumb diving for a Robinson Cano single in the first inning Monday and departed in the bottom of the first. He also missed Tuesday's contest against the Yankees, with his main problem coming from being unable to close his glove without pain defensively.
• Ventura came up with a good line as to when he knew the time had come to move on from his playing career.
"Well, when they ask you to leave," said a smiling Ventura. "That's a good start."
• White Sox pitchers have struck out 10 or more batters in five straight games, their longest streak since ending the 2011 season with five in a row. They rank fourth in the AL with an average of 8.10 strikeouts per nine innings. Chris Sale leads the current group of White Sox pitchers with 161 strikeouts in 149 1/3 innings.
• With 945 quality starts since 2003, the White Sox lead the Majors in that particular category. The Angels are second at 941.
• Tom Paciorek and comedian Kevin Hart threw out ceremonial first pitches Sunday. Paciorek then provided color commentary on the television broadcast, subbing for Ken "Hawk" Harrelson, who was under the weather.