Myriad O's Thoughts: Beckham's bashing; Gausman's cruising; Mancini's hurting -

Dan Connolly

Myriad O’s Thoughts: Beckham’s bashing; Gausman’s cruising; Mancini’s hurting

I’ll let you down quickly and easily.

Tim Beckham is not going to hit .688 in his Orioles career. I promise you that.

But my goodness is the 27-year-old shortstop on an offensive roll since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday. In four games as an Oriole, Beckham is 11-for-16 with three doubles, one triple, two homers and four RBIs.

He hit his second homer in two days Friday night against the Detroit Tigers in a 5-2 loss. The second-inning homer against Detroit ace Justin Verlander was the first of Beckham’s four hits. The other three were singles.

“He wants to play and he’s going to get an opportunity here. And we’ll see where it takes us. But, so far, he’s been really good, obviously,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “We’ll see when the novelty of a new team wears off. But what do you want? You’d rather have it be this way. I don’t think anybody can stay at the pace he’s performing at right now, especially offensively.”

Beckham did get thrown out at third on a pitch that went to the backstop in the ninth inning. But replay showed he was probably safe, though the Orioles challenged it and the ruling was not overturned.

“It’s tough to fault a guy, wild pitch like that and you take off for third. If he stops, he’s out going back to second,” Showalter said. “Probably one of those things where he’s probably safe, but you’re not going to get that overturned.”

It was the only blemish on another strong night for Beckham.

Gausman keeps cruising


Right-hander Kevin Gausman extended his quality start streak to four with another well-pitched outing Friday against the Tigers.

He allowed a first-inning homer to outfielder Jim Adduci and then was fairly dominant after that. Gausman permitted just three hits – one after the first inning – while walking one and striking out eight in seven innings.

It was the fourth consecutive game in which he allowed one or fewer runs, threw six or more innings and struck out eight.

Since he allowed eight runs in three innings in his first game after the All-Star Break on July 14, Gausman has allowed two runs in 27 2/3 innings (0.65 ERA).

His season ERA, which was as high as 7.19 in mid-May, now sits at 5.15.

“I don’t know if it’s confidence. I think I’ve just executed my pitches a lot better,” Gausman said. “To get to the point where I’m at two strikes, I’m executing my pitches a lot better than I was early on.”

Mancini’s injury comes at unfortunate time

Trey Mancini fouled a ball off his left knee Thursday night and was held out of the lineup Friday. His knee, just below the kneecap, was rather sore Friday afternoon, and the Orioles have decided to be cautious with their prized rookie.

Showalter hopes it’s a day-to-day thing, and said Mancini is “worth waiting for.”

An X-Ray on Mancini’s knee came back negative Friday, as did an X-Ray on catcher Caleb Joseph’s right hand, which was hit by a Verlander fastball Friday night. Showalter has made contingency plans in case neither is available, but he’s confident both can play soon

The problem is, with Mancini unavailable Friday, the Orioles were down to a two-man bench: catcher Welington Castillo and infielder Ruben Tejada. Showalter would prefer a four-man bench, but currently he has six starting pitchers until a move is made (potentially sending Chris Tillman to the bullpen). A reliever may then be demoted to Triple-A Norfolk in exchange for another bat.

Not having Mancini this weekend wouldn’t be as concerning if Mark Trumbo (rib cage) wasn’t on the disabled list already. The Orioles are never hurting for power, but the bottom four of the Orioles lineup Friday have combined for 21 homers this season. In comparison, Jonathan Schoop leads the team with 24.

Props to Markakis for 2000

Former Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis picked up his 2,000th career hit Thursday night. Now an Atlanta Brave, Markakis, who logged 1,547 hits with the Orioles from 2006 to 2014, reached the milestone with an opposite-field single against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 33-year-old is the 10th active player with 2,000 hits and the 285th in the game to ever reach the mark.

As I’ve said before, Markakis is one of the best guys I ever covered; no one cares more about playing the game, and playing it the right way.



  1. Wade Warren

    August 5, 2017 at 10:31 am

    no way should Hardy come back to shortstop as a starting role. Beckham should be there for now and the future….

    • Dan Connolly

      August 5, 2017 at 11:17 am

      Let’s watch Beckham play short for two weeks — and see where the Orioles are in the standings when Hardy returns — before we make any decisions.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      August 5, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      Let’s not forget that grounder the other night that went through the wickets of Beckhan which cost the Os more than a couple of runs, if not the game. Sure if Beckham continues to hit like he has, or even realistically anywhere close to it, it makes it hard to start Hardy. But a shortstops first job is to catch all the little league grounders hit to him. That play was unacceptable .

  2. Osfan73

    August 5, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Got to see Nick in a minor league game back when he was with Delmarva. They were in to play the Hagerstown Suns. Was totally unfamiliar with the names on Delmarva’s roster but knew they were an Os minor league team so I paid attention to the names that game should I ever see one pop up in Baltimore later on.

    He was CLEARLY the best hitter on the field that night if not the best player. Really stood out. Everything he hit was to the wall and warning track, and not lazy fly balls but laser line drives! He was in centerfield that night and just seemed to glide effortlessly to the ball. I left after the game thinking to myself “yeah watch for his name coming up, he’s going to be a good one.” He certainly was for us and at a time when the Os really needed that kind of young player….aggressiveness, youth, some speed and a very good eye at the plate.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 5, 2017 at 11:21 am

      One of the more underrated players throughout his career. The lack of major power hurt his national reputation. But a really solid player.

  3. woody

    August 5, 2017 at 10:48 am

    I kinda agree, but no – JJ has earned the right to walk back into the team. Beckham is our solution for next season – I can’t see anyone signing Hardy. Hopefully we’ll see him back at the club in a coaching capacity one day.

    For 2017 when Hardy is back – could Beckham be infield/outfield utility? I don’t believe he’s ever played in the outfield but I can’t see how his skills don’t transfer comfortably – I’d pick him ahead of Joey Rickard no problem.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 5, 2017 at 11:22 am

      It will be interesting to see how he handles any reserve role.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        August 5, 2017 at 12:26 pm

        Hmmmmm … is that a reference to his pouty reputation in Tampa Mr. Connolly?

    • Dan Connolly

      August 5, 2017 at 12:42 pm

      The guy wants to play. No doubt. I’m curious to see what happens if he doesn’t play every day. If he adjusts better than he reportedly did there.

  4. Osfan73

    August 5, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Ok enough with the stroll down memory lane…..

    Good, no great to see Gausman perform so well. Hope he’s found some consistency to his game now because he really goes have good stuff and velocity.

    Beckham hopefully will remain at SS over Hardy. Yes he’ll eventually come back down to Earth with the rest of us but he’s our future SS. And JJ is I think just too easy an out in the lineup this year. Age and injury have caught up with him and it’s just time to change. Nothing against JJ, he’s done well here and enjoyed watching him. Just time for a younger healthier SS is all.

    Lot of injuries starting to pile up and at a bad time too considering the better play of late.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 5, 2017 at 11:28 am

      As I said to Wade, I think circumstances and D will determine a lot in the next few weeks.

  5. TxBirdFan

    August 5, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    We sure could use Mancini. Much like Markakis (I wish he would come back to the Os), you can count on Trey for a great at bat. The Os were playing better with just Davis and Mancini in the lineup, and Trumbo on DL. Not sure if there is anything to that.

    Our starting pitching seems to be coming around (except for Tilly). Hope it’s not too late.

  6. pedro

    August 5, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Givens has been great all year. Curious why Brach wasn’t used. I don’t recall Givens in the 8th, with a rested Brach and Britton, all year. Just a curiosity, not a second guess.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 5, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Not sure. I didn’t check matchups. But Buck has been using Givens more often in those situations. So I’m guessing it was mix and match.

      • ATCguy

        August 5, 2017 at 4:06 pm

        I’ve got no problems with matchups… but watching the game, I was wondering if Buck had somehow been duct-taped to his seat when the bases got loaded. I cringed as soon as I saw that closeup of Caleb calling for that outside fastball on the 0-2 count. Givens put it right there, and the pitch was promptly served into right field to put 2 men on with nobody out. From there it appeared Givens was either tentative, or just wasn’t “on”… yet Buck left him in. I realize it’s easy to 2nd-guess it now… but as I said, I was questioning it then. Oh well…

  7. Homerago

    August 5, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Beckham has made it abundantly clear that he will not accept playing in a utility role at this stage of his career. What type of young talented player would? Play him, accept the positives and limited negatives he brings to the table, or trade him, but don’t stifle his opportunity to help the Orioles.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 5, 2017 at 3:26 pm

      Say whatttt????? First of all, I’ve been around for most of Beckham’s interviews so far and he NEVER made it “abundantly clear” he will not accept a utility role. He made it clear he considers himself a shortstop. But he’s 27, in his first full major league season and he’s now with his second team. He’ll take whatever playing time comes his way and will try to make the most of it. If Hardy comes back and is the starting SS, the Beckham is wise to shut up and keep doing his best. Because next year the job likely is his. This post confuses me.

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