Beckham could come off DL on Monday

Beckham could come off DL on Monday

ATLANTA -- After missing most of June with a left hamstring strain, Gordon Beckham might make his return to the Braves for Monday's series opener in Philadelphia, according to manager Brian Snitker.

The veteran infielder is scheduled to play nine innings at shortstop for Class A Advanced Carolina on Saturday. If all goes well, he could join the team for its seven-game road trip leading up to the All-Star break.

"I just hope he comes back and picks up where he left off," Snitker said, "because he was playing really good."

Beckham sustained the injury on June 1 against the Giants while trying to beat out a ground ball in the sixth inning. He landed on the disabled list for the second time this year the following day.

The 29-year-old also sustained a left hamstring strain against the Marlins on April 16, resulting in a stint on the DL from April 17-May 9. In his return, he was batting .286 with six doubles, two home runs and 13 RBIs in 21 games before re-aggravating the injury.

Beckham began his rehab assignment on Monday with the team's Gulf Coast League affiliate, going 2-for-10 across three games.

With Beckham sidelined, Chase d'Arnaud, Adonis Garcia and Jace Peterson have seen more action in the infield. Beckham's return could leave Atlanta with a difficult decision regarding playing time and a potential roster decision.

Worth noting 

• Snitker said Mallex Smith, who has been on the DL since June 21, met with doctors on Friday to see if surgery might be needed or if a cast will suffice as he recovers from a fractured left thumb. The 23-year-old was expected to miss 8-10 weeks when he landed on the DL, but surgery would likely push his return back.

• Snitker said Eric O'Flaherty is slated to start his innings rehab stint shortly. The left-handed reliever was placed on the DL on June 13 with a right knee strain. O'Flaherty underwent an MRI on June 12, and trainers told him he could resume throwing after three to five days of rest. He instead opted to go on the DL so the team could add an arm to the bullpen as he recovered.

Pat James is a reporter for based in Atlanta. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.