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Beckham shows why Rays are sticking with him at shortstop

19

April

Tim Beckham finally received his first chance to be an everyday player at the big league level, thanks to the offseason Achilles surgery that still has SS Matt Duffy on the shelf for the foreseeable future. But for most of the first two weeks of the season, the question most often asked was: Is Beckham squandering this chance?

He swung the bat well during spring training with a slash-line of .327/.400/.571 and five doubles, three triples and a home run in 19 games. But once the regular season began, that production went away.

As a result, Beckham was dropped down the order until he landed at ninth.

“For the most part we asked Beck to play solid shortstop. He’s done that,” manager Kevin Cash said. “Obviously, he didn’t get off to the hottest start offensively, but if you look at his last couple of ball games he’s starting to feel pretty good, and when he does, he’s got the ability to knock the ball out of the ballpark like we saw in Boston and tonight a huge home run.”

Beckham got the offense going Tuesday in the Rays’ 5-1 victory against the visiting Tigers. His two-run homer in the third inning gave the Rays a 2-1 lead. His infield single in the seventh started a two-run inning that iced the victory.

For Beckham, this surge was a glimpse of why the Rays are sticking with him and not going with rookie Daniel Robertson.

Basically, it’s a combination of power (the home run) and speed (the infield hit).

Beckham’s home run was his second in three games. Both of those home runs have given the Rays the lead.

The first one Sunday in Boston snapped a career-long drought of 109 at-bats without an RBI.

 

“Getting more opportunities,” Beckham said. “Feels good to be out there every day. It even feels good to struggle … I’m not really thinking about the opportunity to play. I don’t want to put any pressure on myself. I just want to go out and take it game-by-game and at-bat-by-at-bat and try to help my team win.”

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 11:37pm]

    

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