Now Commenting On:

Freese seeing time as DH with Beckham at 3B

Freese seeing time as DH with Beckham at 3B play video for Freese seeing time as DH with Beckham at 3B

ANAHEIM -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia has gone from subbing David Freese out for defense late in games to removing him from the field entirely. Sunday marked the third time in four days that Scioscia has opted to go with Gordon Beckham at third and thus insert Freese -- a longtime National League player -- at designated hitter.

Scioscia said Freese is still "our primary third baseman," but the skipper likes starting Beckham at third "from a maneuverability standpoint."

Beckham brings more athleticism to the position, and when he's in the game, Scioscia doesn't have to burn John McDonald -- sometimes used as a pinch-runner -- for late-game defensive purposes like he often does when Freese starts. That is especially key given the short bench Scioscia has had recently.

It's the logical choice. But it's also a delicate one when it comes to cutting into the playing time of an established veteran like Freese, who has been on the team a lot longer than Beckham. Scioscia had that conversation with Freese, and said the 31-year-old "understands."

"He's comfortable playing defense and wants to play out there," Scioscia said. "But whatever is going to help us, he's into. He wants to win. He understands it."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español