We have now reached the portion of our program where we, as fans, scour the daily quotes from management whilst trying to determine “the plan.”
So, if you’ll indulge me, please put on your tin-foil hat and travel with me down conspiracy lane.
I think we all agree that Reid Brignac will be the opening day shortstop in 2012, by default. But I thought Joe’s comments on Tim Beckham’s demotion were especially interesting yesterday. Joe made great efforts to point out that Beckham’s defense was Major League-ready and also mentioned that there was nothing left for him to work on at the plate. That makes it sound like we should be asking when, not if, Beckham will make his Rays debut in 2012.
Assuming Brignac underwhelms again — something I see as a distinct possibility. Isn’t a newly-versatile Beckham the perfect candidate to replace Reid (who still has minor league options) to form a super, middle-infield, platoon with Ben Zobrist, Sean Rodriguez, and Jeff Keppinger? Those four would combine in a million different ways to play short and second. Right? They could be the middle-infield Voltron.
Keep those tin-foil hats on because here’s where it gets weird. If Voltron is the first step of the plan, isn’t the next step a permanent infield of Longoria, Lee, Beckham, and [insert First Baseman here]? That makes Zobrist a permanent outfielder, frees up Desmond Jennings to replace BJ Upton in Centerfield, and makes Brandon Guyer the new Outfield-version of Zobrist spelling all three spots depending on pitching matchups. Right?
The big problem with all this is that I now have to care about Tim Beckham again. If he actually pans out, I am going to have to take back all those mean things I said about drafting Beckham and not Posey. I would be … gasp … wrong. That is a fate worse than last place..