Tim Beckham’s time in the lineup may be dwindling

For an underperforming team at the trade deadline that was three games under .500, four-and-a-half games out of a Wildcard spot, and six-and-a-half out of the division race,  the Orioles were considered to be sellers. As a matter of fact, the Orioles were said to have pretty much everyone on the table, scoping out potential deals for a possible rebuild in the club’s near future.

The return that Brad Brach and Zach Britton could have garnered may have been enough to begin a re-build for the post-2018 era, and the club could have gotten a decent return for names like Welington Castillo and/or Seth Smith. Instead, the club decided to hang on to all four of those players, trading away RHP Tobias Myers to the Tampa Bay Rays, and OF Hyun-Soo Kim to the Philadelphia Phillies.

In return, the Orioles acquired former first-round draft pick, Tim Beckham, and former Rookie of the Year in 2011, Jeremy Hellickson, and both players have made their Orioles debuts successful.

Hellickson started Wednesday night against the Kansas City Royals, and was absolutely masterful. Facing 27 batters through seven innings, Hellickson didn’t allow a run on five hits, while walking one batter and striking out three.

While Hellickson’s debut with the O’s was superb, Beckham has been just as good, tearing things up at the plate.

Since coming over to the Orioles, Beckham has gone 11-for-16, with three doubles, two home runs and a triple. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Beckham now has the most hits in his first  four games with the team in Orioles franchise history (11), surpassing Sammy West (10) in 1933 with the St. Louis Browns.

Even though you won’t read this, thanks for tweeting that Roch!

Beckham is clearly playing hard to help the Orioles win games in their postseason resurgence, however, he is merely filling in for the injured JJ Hardy. Remember, Hardy was injured back on June 18 when he was hit on the wrist by a pitch thrown from Cardinals starter, Lance Lynn.

Buck Showalter has already said that when Hardy is eligible to return to the club on August 18, he is the Shortstop. There won’t be in any sharing of the role either, it goes to Hardy.

On the last leg of his career, Hardy more than likely won’t be returning to Baltimore unless a new deal is worked out in the offseason. It would need to be an incredibly cheap deal, if he decides to play in 2018. Hardy’s vesting option for the 2018 season included him meeting a required 600 plate appearances in the 2017 season. At just 239 appearances, with 41 games remaining if he returns on his eligibility date, there’s no chance he’ll meet that requirement.

So, if Beckham’s hot play continues, why remove him from the everyday lineup, only to insert a recovering (and who seems to always be ailing) Hardy, who was hitting just .218 against right handed pitching, and .211 overall? At this point in the season, when every game matters and the Orioles seeming to gain life and force their way back into the postseason hunt, why not go with the guy who will give you the best chance to win, every night?

Will Beckham bat .688 for the remainder of the season? Probably not, but is he going to give you a better chance to get on-base, stretch a single into a double, and steal third with one out in the bottom of the eighth in a one-run ballgame? Quite possibly.

Tim Beckham could be the Shortstop of the future for the O’s, as he is under team control until 2021, but depending on how the next few weeks pan out for the 27-year-old Griffin High School product, he could (and should), be the Shortstop for the remainder of this season.

 

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