With Adrian Beltre ailing, Rangers add reinforcement

Posted Wednesday, Apr. 09, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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The Texas Rangers were still awaiting word Wednesday afternoon on the severity of Adrian Beltre’s left quadriceps injury, but they weren’t waiting idly by in case the third baseman ends up on the disabled list.

The club purchased the minor league contract of infielder Kevin Kouzmanoff from Triple A Round Rock and designated right-hander Seth Rosin for assignment.

Kouzmanoff joined the team at Fenway Park before the series finale against Boston and likely will be in the lineup Friday to open a 10-game homestand. He singled while pinch hitting for Josh Wilson in the seventh inning on Wednesday.

Beltre, as of Wednesday, doesn’t appear to be an immediate option.

“Anytime one of your best players is unavailable is concerning,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “With the way our roster is set up, we need another infielder. We needed to make sure we had coverage.”

Beltre was injured in the fourth inning Tuesday while running out an RBI double in the Rangers’ 10-7 victory. He was flown to Texas on Wednesday and was expected to have an MRI exam and to see team physician Dr. Keith Meister.

Beltre is batting .286 with four RBIs in eight games. He dealt with left quad tightness in spring training, missing a week, but the latest discomfort is in a different area.

The Rangers weren’t sure when they would hear Meister’s diagnosis and were left to hope for the best.

“We don’t know what we’re preparing for,” manager Ron Washington said. “We just know that we needed an extra infielder while Beltre is gone.”

Daniel McCutchen was kept in favor of Rosin because he can provide more length than the Rule 5 pick, who must be offered back to Philadelphia if he clears waivers. The Rangers could then work out a trade with the Phillies to keep the rookie.

Kouzmanoff signed his big-league contract shortly after arriving from an early-morning flight, but the moment wasn’t as significant as might be expected for a player returning to the majors for the first time since 2011.

“I’ve been there, done that before,” he said. “It feels good to sign it, but I’m here to help out and win some ballgames.”

Instead, he was focused on the task at hand, helping his new team, and he has let go of any possible bitterness from being the last player cut in spring training despite hitting .370 with three homers and 12 RBIs.

“I forgot all about that,” Kouzmanoff said. “The decision was made, and I just moved on. That’s all you can do. You keep just playing because you never know what’s going to happen.”

Washington had to deliver the bad news to Kouzmanoff in San Antonio two days before Opening Day. Kouzmanoff was a victim of a numbers game that forced the Rangers to keep catcher Chris Gimenez because he had been claimed too close to Opening Day to be designated again.

Washington greeted Kouzmanoff on Wednesday with a hug.

“Good things happen to good people,” Washington said. “He took it like a man, and now he has an opportunity to come back.”

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST

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