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Guillen gives Lillibridge shot at second

Brent Lillibridge has made two straight starts at second base in place of slumping Gordon Beckham. AP Photo/Tony Dejak

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen wouldn’t say that second baseman Gordon Beckham has been benched, but then again, he wouldn’t commit to playing the former No. 1 pick every day either.

Guillen played Brent Lillibridge at second on Monday for the second consecutive game.

“[Beckham’s] my second baseman,” said Guillen. “He’s still my second baseman, but right now the way Lillibridge is playing, I’m going to give him a shot.”

Guillen is looking for offensive production at second base and was not afraid to say before Monday’s game that his team is built to win now.

“They told me ‘Here is the team, you better win,’”Guillen said. “Then I better put [in] the guy for that day that gives us the chance to win out there.”

Guillen said that Lillibridge will get a chance to play as long as he produces.

I asked Guillen for the umpteenth time this season why Beckham hasn’t been sent to the minor leagues to work out his offensive problems.

“We don’t have anybody better to replace him,” Guillen said. “That’s easy, who do we have to replace him?”

I then asked him if Lillibridge is that guy.

“He might be, but we don’t know,” Guillen said. “If this thing happens, that’ll be our decision. But not if Lillibridge only has a couple of good games [then] he’s my second baseman. That’s not the way.”

Lillibridge is hitting .500 in his brief time with the White Sox this season.

Meanwhile, Beckham is still stuck on two homers and 20 RBIs after almost a full half-season.

“If I see that Lillibridge continues to have good at bats, then this decision will be made, or not,” Guillen said. “I think as long as Gordon’s here, we’ll find a place for him to play, because he needs to play a lot. [Now] I’m looking for who will give me the best shot to win a game.”

Sox management has balked at sending Beckham to the minor leagues all season, even though he’s been in an offensive slump all year.