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The White Sox Need To Send Gordon Beckham To The Minors

The White Sox need to demote slumping second baseman Gordon Beckham. On the heels of Wednesday's 0-4, Beckham currently owns a .191 batting average that has been augmented with little power (1 home run, 4 doubles on the season). Beckham has struck out in over 21% of his 2010 plate appearances. He's been bad from the very beginning this season, and is actually in a slump within his slump, hitting under .180 in his last 14 games. There are slumps, and then there are slumps that are so bad they powerfully suggest something is fundamentally going wrong. Beckham's experiencing the latter.

Nobody expected Beckham to struggle in 2010. A first round pick in 2008, Beckham initially hit so well in his first full season in the minors that the White Sox promoted him last season. As a rookie, Beckham hit .270/.347/.460 (BA/OBP/SLG) with 14 home runs. Beckham finished 5th in the AL Rookie of the Year balloting, and looked for all the world like one of the best young middle infielders in the game.

That still might happen for Beckham, who is still just 23 years old, and has already had success at the Major League level. However, Beckham's numbers last season weren't so awesome that we should consider him a finished product. Beckham has only played seven games at AAA in his short professional career, and seemingly, despite public protestations to the contrary, it appears that it would be in everyone's best interest for him to see some time in Charlotte. Ozzie Guillen's dugout isn't a terrific place to be a struggling young player, especially when the Sox are just 20-26. Moreover, the White Sox might as well take this opportunity to stop Beckham's service time clock, which got started quite quickly last season. As one of the few young players on the roster, the White Sox need to manage Beckham carefully.

While a demotion to AAA might seem reactionary, we are nearing June, and at present Beckham simply hasn't justified an everyday spot in the lineup. The White Sox need to hit the pause button on Beckham's 2010 season before it deteriorates further.