Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays demote Beckham to Triple-A Durham following latest baserunning blunder

The Rays decided they had seen enough of infielder Tim Beckham after his latest baserunning blunder, optioning him to Triple-A following Wednesday's 8-6 loss.

Beckham was on second in the fourth with a chance to stretch the lead to 5-1 when Kevin Kiermaier laced a ball to right-center. But Beckham didn't hustle home, and when Kiermaier was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double, home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom waved off the run.

That was Beckham's third baserunning blunder of this road trip alone. On Saturday in Houston, he was caught between second and third on an infield single, and on Sunday he similarly didn't hustle home but the run counted when Luke Maile was called safe at second.

Manager Kevin Cash said both Beckham and Kiermaier were to blame, but that Beckham's mistake was more egregious.

"Definitely the not hustling," Cash said before the demotion was announced. "That is required of us, and that's probably the easiest part to do in baseball."

Kiermaier was hard on himself for being unnecessarily aggressive, especially with top hitter Evan Longoria up next, saying it was bad decision-making and "a really dumb, dumb play on my part."

Beckham declined comment via a team spokesman.

A corresponding move will be made before the Rays next play on Friday.

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