Beckham at short for long haul
Hardy rejoins club, prepares to help O’s in new role as a reserve
CLEVELAND — A day after the Orioles acquired Tim Beckham to fill their shortand long-term shortstop needs right at the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline, manager Buck Showalter relayed that he’d assured his incumbent starter, J.J. Hardy, that “he’s playing shortstop” once his fractured wrist healed.
Much has changed since then, including Showalter’s own recollection of those remarks, as on Friday he challenged the notion he’d made them.
But the most significant change, if not the Orioles held to four hits in series opener in Cleveland as red-hot Indians win 16th straight game most inevitable one, was solidified Friday at Progressive Field, when Hardy was activated from the 60-day disabled list and Beckham remained in the starting lineup, batting leadoff and playing Hardy’s position of shortstop.
As much as Hardy wants to play, he essentially endorsed the idea himself.
“Amazing,” Hardy said of Beckham. “Absolutely amazing. We’ve played against him for the last few years and I’ve seen a lot of improvements, just playing against him, and for him to get the opportunity to play every day at shortstop — what he’s done is pretty impressive.”
Tim Beckham has committed eight errors at shortstop since joining the Orioles, but he has become a force at the top of the lineup, hitting .359 with seven homers in his first 35 games.