Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Beckham not satisfied with his defense

Shortstop, a spark plug in lineup, is looking to cut down on errors
Special to MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- Tim Beckham has enjoyed a hitting renaissance since being traded from the Rays to the Orioles on July 31, lifting his batting average from .259 to .294 entering Thursday evening's matchup against the Blue Jays at Camden Yards.

He's slid into the leadoff spot for the Orioles, providing a spark plug for a team that was floundering early in the summer but has pulled itself to within two games of the Twins for the second Wild Card spot in the American League.

View Full Game Coverage

BALTIMORE -- Tim Beckham has enjoyed a hitting renaissance since being traded from the Rays to the Orioles on July 31, lifting his batting average from .259 to .294 entering Thursday evening's matchup against the Blue Jays at Camden Yards.

He's slid into the leadoff spot for the Orioles, providing a spark plug for a team that was floundering early in the summer but has pulled itself to within two games of the Twins for the second Wild Card spot in the American League.

View Full Game Coverage

But the shortstop is hardly satisfied with his game.

"I haven't been playing up to my capability on defense," he said.

No, the six home runs in August are not enough. Neither are the 79 total bases. For Beckham, filling in for longtime Oriole J.J. Hardy at shortstop means producing both at the plate and in the field.

"He wants it," manager Buck Showalter said of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 MLB Draft. "He wants it all."

Showalter recalled Beckham recently summoning third-base coach Bobby Dickerson to put Beckham through infield drills during the afternoon, long before players were expected to begin warming up.

"That guy has no problem with work," Showalter said.

Beckham's desire to get better isn't unfounded. In 70 games at shortstop with Tampa Bay he committed nine errors; he's been charged with eight errors in 28 games at the position with his new team. With Hardy (fractured wrist) expected to rejoin the team from his Minor League rehab assignment soon, Beckham's window to impress might be closing.

"We're all a work in progress," he said. "We all can get better. Come in every day with that mindset and special things could happen." 

Joshua Needelman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Washington and covered the Orioles on Thursday.

Baltimore Orioles, Tim Beckham