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Beckham sits with tight right hamstring

Mariners exercising caution with SS, who leads AL with 16 hits
@gregjohnsmlb
April 8, 2019

KANSAS CITY -- Mariners shortstop Tim Beckham, who has played a major role in the Mariners’ hot offensive start this season, was held out of the lineup for Monday’s four-game series opener against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium due to tightness in his right hamstring. The 29-year-old from Georgia has

KANSAS CITY -- Mariners shortstop Tim Beckham, who has played a major role in the Mariners’ hot offensive start this season, was held out of the lineup for Monday’s four-game series opener against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium due to tightness in his right hamstring.

The 29-year-old from Georgia has put up a sterling .400/.489/.825 slash line with five doubles and four home runs in the team’s first 11 games, but was removed in the fifth inning from Sunday’s 12-5 win over the White Sox after feeling the leg tighten while scoring from first on Daniel Vogelbach’s bases-loaded double in the third.

Beckham tested the leg prior to Monday’s game under the watchful eye of Mariners athletic trainer Rob Nodine, but wasn’t able to go full speed and the decision was made to give rookie utility man Dylan Moore his first start at shortstop.

Beckham missed two months -- from April 25 to June 25 -- due to a strained left groin muscle last year with the Orioles and doesn’t want to go down that road again.

"I want to keep this a one-day thing as opposed to going out and pushing it,” he said. “I want to continue to be a part of this. I don’t want to go out and be a superhero on April 8. I just want to be smart about it and be here for the team throughout the whole season.”

Beckham doesn’t believe the issue should linger, and said he was available to pinch-hit if needed. But when he went to reach a higher gear in his pregame workout, the leg wasn’t quite ready.

“When I go from 50 to 75-80 percent, I feel it kind of pulling at me a little,” he said. “But it’s no pain, no soreness, just tight.”

After signing a one-year, $1.75 million contract as a free agent, Beckham was the American League Player of the Week in his first week with the Mariners, and continued his torrid start by going 5-for-11 with five runs, three RBIs, two doubles and a homer in three games in Chicago over the weekend.

“He’s swinging the bat really good. It’s tough to take him out,” manager Scott Servais said. “He’s been right in the middle of everything and he wants to stay in there, too. But we’re doing the right thing, just being out ahead of it before it blows up into something worse.”

Worth noting

• Right-handed reliever Shawn Armstrong threw a scoreless eighth inning on Monday for Triple-A Tacoma at Sacramento, giving up a double and striking out two in a 16-pitch rehab outing.

Armstrong is eligible to come off the 10-day injured list as soon as he’s fully recovered from the strained left oblique that sidelined him just after the team arrived in Tokyo three weeks ago, but he will likely need to make a couple of rehab appearances for Tacoma this week before potentially rejoining the club during the next homestand.

• Rookie right-hander Gerson Bautista isn’t as close to returning, as he’s still in Arizona rehabbing from a strained right pectoral muscle. The hard-throwing 23-year-old is playing catch, but hasn’t begun throwing off the mound, according to Servais.

• Of the 160 MLB hitters who’ve homered 50 or more times since 2015, Mariners left fielder Domingo Santana has hit the most opposite-field home runs at 44.8 percent, according to Statcast data. Boston’s J.D. Martinez and San Diego’s Eric Hosmer are tied for second at 39.1 percent, followed by the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera at 38.7 percent and the Reds’ Joey Votto at 33.6 percent.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.