Seth Beer hones in on what it takes to make Diamondbacks’ Opening Day roster
Feb 27, 2023, 4:06 PM | Updated: 4:21 pm
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE — Seth Beer’s 2022 season started about as well as it could have.
The Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman and designated hitter hit a walk-off home run to lift the team over the San Diego Padres on Opening Day.
A Seth Beer #Walkoff homer on National Beer Day?!
Gotta love baseball.
— MLB (@MLB) April 8, 2022
Through his first 17 games of last season, Beer hit .306, had an impressive .414 on-base percentage and a solid .429 slugging percentage. However, by May 14, he was hitting just .210 with a .301 on-base percentage and a measly .284 slugging percentage.
On May 15, Beer was optioned to Triple-A Reno. He explained the cause of the struggles leading to being sent down.
“In 2021, my season kind of ended with a shoulder injury,” Beer said Monday. “And it was a nagging injury that was really bothering me for most of the year.
“When I mean mostly, the whole swing, every at-bat. It was there. It was in the back of my brain the whole time. … I think for that first month, I kind of willed myself to forget about it, stuff like that and continue to push forward. And I think as the season went on, I just kind of started wearing down.”
Beer did not play in another MLB game until Aug. 1 but went just 4-for-30 (.133 average) in the games he played in August, which ended up being the last games he played last season.
He added that he started to feel better physically in the offseason.
“They had given me surgery in 2021,” Beer said. “I think I just needed time. … Some guys say it takes like 12 months to get it right. Some guys say it takes 14 to 15 months. I really started feeling normal during the offseason and just by training and stuff and really trying to strengthen my shoulder again.”
Beer said he worked on his swing in the offseason and adjusted it based on what he and the D-backs discussed. He also worked on trying to not have a drop-off if he starts out hot again in 2023.
As for what he needs to do to make the Opening Day roster, Beer pointed to the reason he feels like he is on the team.
“I think one of the biggest things is just to go out there and hit,” Beer said. “That’s kind of why I’m here.”
D-backs manager Torey Lovullo had a bit of a different response than Beer for what the first baseman and designated hitter needs to do to make the team.
“He’s got to win on both sides of the ball,” Lovullo said. “He’s got to continue to improve defensively which I know has been a priority for him and he’s made huge strides in that area.
“He’s got to control the zone at the plate. He’s got to make sure he’s not missing the pitch per at-bat that he’s able to get his hands on. And we know he’s a very capable hitter but it’s more about not trying to do too much per at bat.”
It remains to be seen if Beer will make the team but it has been so-far-so-good for him early in spring training as he is 2-for-3 in the action he has seen thus far in spring training.
In 2023, MLB hitters have to be in the box at the eight-second mark of the pitch clock.
Beer gave his thoughts on the new rule.
“It’s just part of the game now and guys got to have to adjust,” he said. “Change, when it comes to baseball, is just not a thing that guys really like, including myself. And sometimes that can be a tough thing and there might be issues with it.
“But it’s just something I can’t control, something none of the guys can control. And I think two weeks in i don’t think we’ll hear about it again and I think two weeks in I don’t think we’ll hear a word about it again because I think guys will start to adjust.”