Orioles notes: Buck Showalter preaches patience with Tim Beckham after tough weekend at shortstop

Tim Beckham is back at shortstop after the Orioles traded Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers last week, but his performance during the three-game weekend series in Toronto forced manager Buck Showalter to come to his defense Monday.

Beckham made misplays that impacted all three games against the Blue Jays, but Showalter reminded reporters at his pregame news conference that Beckham deserves some time to settle back into his original position.


As the Orioles open a seven-game homestand today, it will likely be the last for Britton in an Orioles uniform as the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline approaches.

“That’s already begun,” Showalter said. “Tim doesn’t mind hard work. When we didn’t hit outside after the night game [Friday], Tim and [infield coach Bobby Dickerson] and [Renato] Núñez were on the field working on some things. They’re down there in the room now going over some things that we need to get better at.”

Núñez, who started all three losses to Toronto at third base, has bounced from the Texas Rangers to the Oakland Athletics to the Orioles over the past two years but is still classified as a rookie. Beckham, who made his major league debut for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2013, did not emerge as an everyday player until last year, which he split between the Rays and Orioles.


So both might need more time to get comfortable as the new left side of the Orioles’ infield.

“First, you try to let them play and leave them alone,” Showalter said. “Then you start attacking some things. That’s already been done. That was being done with Manny.

“Everybody has got their strengths and weaknesses, and we’re so quick to pounce on their weaknesses instead of the strengths. Right now, we’re going to get a good look at Tim and hope that he settles in.”

Tillman in limbo

There is no news yet on the immediate future of right-hander Chris Tillman, who was designated for assignment Friday. His status could remained undetermined for another week, but Showalter said he hopes the club will be able to convince him to accept his assignment to Triple-A Norfolk and continue working to reclaim the command that made him the Orioles’ top starting pitcher from 2012 to 2016.

“Personally … selfishly, I hope he ends up going to Norfolk with us and continues down the path, because he was making some progress,” Showalter said. “Chris is going to have to make that decision.”

Tillman made his last injury rehabilitation start July 15. He threw 100 pitches for the Tides and worked 5 1/3 innings, giving up two runs, but when his rehab assignment ended, the Orioles hadn’t seen enough to put him ahead of rookies Yefry Ramírez and Jimmy Yacabonis on the starting rotation’s depth chart.

“The encouraging thing is that he feels good physically,” Showalter said. “He’s just having trouble getting the results. For Chris’ sake … he’s going to get an opportunity. I hope it’s with us.”

Dealing with the deadline

Reflecting on his decision to remove Machado from the Orioles’ first-half finale, Showalter said he continues to have mixed feelings about the All-Star shortstop’s final appearance in Baltimore.

Machado was taken out during a rain delay as a precaution while the Orioles were closing in on their 5-for-1 deal with the Dodgers.

“The one thing that bothered me a little bit was, we take Manny out of that game, and there’s a lot of people [who] came to the game,” he said. “Part of their allurement to come to the game was that Manny’s playing. That bothered me.


“There’s a lot of different things. You’ve got a responsibility to the game, but I’ve got a bigger responsibility to the Orioles and our fans. There’s a lot of things going through my mind in the course of a game, trying to do what’s best … even making the lineup out.”

Around the horn

Reliever Darren O’Day was at Camden Yards on Monday. He’s recovering from significant hamstring surgery and is beginning his rehab program with the Orioles training staff. … Utility outfielder Craig Gentry (rib cage) and rookie infielder Steve Wilkerson (oblique) have resumed baseball activities.

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