Orioles third baseman Tim Beckham has found a bit of a groove upon his return from the disabled list, with hits in five straight games and a .304 average in six games since he was activated last Monday.
While it’s a small sample, Beckham is regarding it the same way he did his hot August last year after arriving to the Orioles — by not acknowledging it’s going on.
“I don’t like to think about it, you know?” Beckham said. “We’re all ballplayers. We come in here and get ourselves ready and prepare for the game. I mean, we’re in this position, so production is expected. Just coming in every day, handling your business like a professional and play ball. … I don’t think about how I want to start off or if I’m going to have the same year as last year. I don’t like thinking about that. I just want to play ball.”
Beckham raised his season average from .170 to .206 since his return, and although up is the only real way to go from there, he’s looked as if he’s been full-speed after core muscle surgery kept him out for two months.
Said manager Buck Showalter: “I wanted to start him down at the bottom of the order so he can move up, but he’s kind of responded to some games at the top. I think Timmy’s still trying to feel his way around a little bit, but each game, he’s getting a little more the right kind of reckless, so to speak. The right kind of aggressiveness, without thinking about it as much.
“But it’s going to take some time. There’s some stuff that he’s carried around for a while, and now he’s got it taken care of. I think once he gets past that point where he’s got a lot of confidence that he’s not going to go back there with it, he’ll feel really good about the surgery and what it’ll mean for him down the road. But I don’t think he’s there yet.”
The main adjustment has been on defense, where Beckham’s hesitation on a double-play attempt on Saturday contributed to a big inning for the Angels. He said the step up in the pace of the game has been the same offensively and defensively.
“You just want to come up and be comfortable,” Beckham said. “You want to be s healthy as possible, and just want to keep the game simple. The game is hard enough as it is. You just want to keep the game simple, man, and go about your business and trust your routine and take it out there and play ball.”
Longtime fan meets O’s
The Orioles hosted 95-year-old fan Merle Caples, who lives in the Philadelphia area and has listened to the team’s radio broadcasts since 1960.
Caples, who was one of the first female Marines during World War II, spoke with radio broadcaster Joe Angel on the phone this weekend and met Angel, plus Showalter, center fielder Adam Jones, and catcher Caleb Joseph before the game.
Around the horn
Right-hander Chris Tillman (lower back strain) will pitch Thursday for Triple-A Norfolk at Gwinnett, Showalter said. … Right-hander Hunter Harvey (shoulder) played catch for the first time Tuesday. … Rule 5 right-hander Pedro Araujo (shoulder) threw a 25-pitch bullpen Monday, Showalter said.