Thursday, June 4, 2009

Beckham Era Begins, But Is it Rushed?

Instead of talking about how awful today's game was, I've decided to chime in using more than the 140 characters allowed on Twitter to talk about the Beckham to third base situation. Justin posted the question posed by ESPN Radio this morning and we have been getting some comments, so I figured I should get my thoughts out there, and hopefully try to defend my points to anyone who disagrees. This is a really good discussion point and I can see both sides, but I think I'm actually in the minority here.

I'm actually totally for having Beckham come up and play third. I have a multitude of reasons mostly looking towards the future. I will start by saying I whole heartedly agree that right now it seems odd and it seems like a force, but I think it's a short term discomfort situation to breed him for long term success.

The way I see the future of the Sox, the infield is really murky. The only position that I would say I'm pretty much for sure will not change is Alexei at short. If you saw the barehanded play he made yesterday you would probably agree (who cares if it was a bad call). So that leaves a heap of players all stuck in limbo looking for a home in the infield. To me Beckham is at the top of that list. However throughout his whole career pre-Sox he was a shortstop, and as I said earlier that spot is taken. So it has to be either 2nd or 3rd (or CF I guess). And right now the Sox have two 2nd basemen on the roster and another one waiting to come back from injury. They have one 3rd baseman, and he's hitting .239. I'm not saying Fields is not the future, I'm saying Fields needs some relief, while Getz and Nix (and Lillibridge) don't need another guy taking AB's from them.

So the idea is to get Beckham up here now to work on getting used to hitting major league pitching. It's impossible to say what the infield is going to look like inn the future. We don't know where Konerko will be in a few years, we don't know anything about Dayan Viceido, we aren't sure who is the best of the 2nd basemen, and we don't know if Beckham can even play 3rd. Therefore this is a chance to work on clearly some of this up, while getting a young stud a heap of AB's and not let his talents go to waste in Triple-A while we wait to see how things work out.

So my answer to the question posed by ESPN Radio which was 'Shouldn't Beckham stay at SS and work around that?' is no. Alexei is the shortstop of the present and of the future. So Gordon is going to need to learn a new position. He's a talented guy, throw him into the fire and let him figure out how to make due. I truely believe that he is a good enough athlete that sticking him at 3rd will not be much of a difference than having Fields there defensively. And this way you give Beckham the at bats he needs to become into the star we hope he can be sooner than later.

1 comment:

  1. Part of me wants to say with a guy who is supposed to be the future pick either second or third and keep him there.

    The thing is the Sox are trying to make the playoffs and so for right now Beckham is best used as a guy who moves around all three positions.