Gordon Beckham kicked off his rehab start in fine fashion with the Charlotte Knights on Saturday. Easing his way into action as the DH and batting third, Beckham went 2-for-4 with a walk and three runs scored in the Knights' 11-6 victory over Buffalo.
It helped that Beckham's reintroduction to competitive pitching wasn't real heavy on what you'd call "live arms." His two hits came against Claudio Vargas (who used to be a Montreal Expo) and Miguel Batista (who is 42 years old).
In his first at-bat, he fouled off an outer-half Vargas fastball with the latest emergency hack possible, but came back to rifle the ball into left with whimsical results:
That's a single and a two-base error. Likewise, Batista didn't pose much of a challenge for him in the ninth inning. On a 2-1 count, he sent a line drive back up the middle for a base hit:
In his three plate appearances in between, he drew a four-pitch walk, grounded out to third and struck out. The strikeout, courtesy of Jeremy Jeffress, was the most intriguing plate appearance of the night because:
- Jeffress throws in the mid-90s
- The bases were loaded.
Beckham was aggressive, but a little late. He fouled back one fastball on the inner half, then fouled another one off to the right to fall behind 1-2. On the fourth pitch, Jeffress threw nice slider off the plate, and Beckham was out in front for the strikeout. Nevertheless, whether connecting or missing, Beckham certainly looked like he was swinging with confidence, and that's what matters most right now.