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Tampa Bay news and links: Tim Beckham demoted

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Was it overdue, or just about exactly due?

MLB: Texas Rangers at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Y’all already know the big news. After not hustling home from second, on a play where Kevin Kiermaier ran into the third out of the inning, the Rays optioned former first round pick Tim Beckham back to the minors on the day before rosters expand.

The timing makes this a strong signal to Beckham that he needs to work harder, particularly on the mental side of the game.

I have to argue a bit with Topkin, though, who wrote this:

And Beckham has only made [the decision to draft him rather than Buster Posey] worse with his slow track through the minors, a drug suspension, injuries and, once he would get to the majors, incessantly inconsistent play and repeated errors of judgment.

His mistakes, obviously, were hurting the team. Worse, allowing him to stay in the big leagues and keep making them, as if there was an entitlement clause, was sending the wrong message throughout the organization.

If Wednesday's loss after the how-could-he-do-that-again mistake was the cost to make this move, and this point, it was well worth it.

I don’t have a problem with the demotion. If the Rays think they need to make a point, change some attitude, change some culture, great. Do it. But let’s be clear. Tim Beckham hadn’t been demoted earlier because he’s been a decent player.

He’s hit at league average while playing league average defense at a middle infield position. That means he’s helped this team win. There are a lot of players who aren’t Buster Posey. The Rays have roughly 25 of them.

Oh, and Mark Topkin may want to check himself before insinuating that tearing an acl while working out is a character flaw.

Other Links:

  • Arizona Fall League rosters are announced. The Rays players will be on the Peoria Javelins. The highlight is Brent Honeywell. It’ll be a preview (in front of PITCHf/x cameras) for us major-league-bound fans of one of the most exciting pitchers in the Rays system.
  • Princeton is in the postseason.