It’s bad enough the Orioles dropped another game Monday night, a 2-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians that marked the Orioles (6-17) ninth defeat in 10 games and 10th time this season they’ve scored two runs or fewer.
But now they are potentially looking at the loss of another key player.
With one out in the eighth inning, starting infielder Tim Beckham singled to chase Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco from the game.
While reliever Andrew Miller entered, Orioles head athletic trainer Brian Ebel and manager Buck Showalter attended to Beckham at first base.
Beckham stayed in the game and moved to second on a single by Manny Machado, but then Beckham was replaced by pinch-runner Luis Sardinas.
After the game, Showalter admitted he was concerned about Beckham, who apparently has been dealing with an Achilles issue for a little while and then tweaked his groin Monday.
“He’s had soreness with his Achilles, but his groin was a little sore there, too. That (groin discomfort) he had in the spring,” Showalter said. “He said he felt OK, and then I watched him run to second and it’s obvious he wasn’t. … I’ll know a lot more tomorrow and after tonight, but it’s a concern. I’m a little more concerned about the groin right now. Really both (the Achilles and the groin).”
Beckham was receiving treatment after the game and was not available for comment.
But from Showalter’s ominous tone, it sounds like this could be a disabled list situation.
And that’s tough for a club that already has starting second baseman Jonathan Schoop on the DL with a right oblique strain. Schoop ran on the field some Monday and participated in baseball activities, but his return is not yet imminent. The lineup is also without designated hitter Mark Trumbo (quad), who went 1-for-3 with a walk in an injury rehab game with Double-A Bowie. He potentially could be back by the time the Orioles head to the West Coast next week.
The Orioles also have not had left fielder and leadoff hitter Trey Mancini since Friday, when he banged his right knee against the outfield wall. Mancini, however, did pinch-hit Monday and struck out.
Mancini, assuming he can play Tuesday, likely will go back to the leadoff spot, but Beckham’s absence will be felt elsewhere. Despite batting .179 so far this season, Beckham will be difficult to replace simply because of the club’s lack of infield depth.
Luis Sardinas probably will have to start at second base with Danny Valencia at third if Beckham needs a couple days to rest, but isn’t a DL situation. However, that scenario would leave Showalter with a two-man bench, including his backup catcher. So, if Beckham’s situation looks like it could linger beyond a day or two — and that’s the sense — the Orioles will be forced to DL him and bring back Engelb Vielma, who was sent to Triple-A Norfolk on Friday.
Vielma is eligible to return now only if he is replacing an injured player.
This is an offense that has not been able to hit. And Beckham is one of the culprits, but at least his potential to provide a spark is there. Losing him is inopportune at best; at worst, it’s another rough blow to a bad team.