Adrian Beltre could return to the Texas Rangers’ lineup as soon as Sunday after feeling tightness in his left quadriceps muscle during a late game Thursday night, and left-hander Matt Harrison is on schedule to make his Cactus League debut Monday night.
Beltre exited after the fourth inning, saying he wanted to stay in the game to get two at-bats. He felt fine at third base when moving laterally, but felt discomfort when moving forward.
His only activity Friday was batting practice before the Rangers headed to Goodyear Ballpark for a night game against Cincinnati. He was originally scheduled for an off day Friday and won’t travel today to Phoenix for a game against Oakland.
“In the next couple days he’ll be back out there,” manager Ron Washington said. “It’s really mild. We just decided to take him out today.”
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Harrison threw 47 pitches during live batting practice, his first action since needing only 11 pitches Tuesday to complete an inning during a B game against Kansas City. Pitching coach Mike Maddux said the next step for Harrison, who was delayed at the start of spring by a back scare, is two innings Monday against the Royals.
There’s still some rust he needs to shake off.
“He looked like a guy who is just a tad behind,” Maddux said. “He kind of lost his delivery midway through, but he found it and finished strong.”
Lefty Derek Holland, who debuted in camp March 8 after rehabbing in Arlington for surgery on his left knee, threw up to 90 feet Friday and is on track to begin running in two weeks. He isn’t expected to be available until July.
New rule catching on
Twice on Wednesday during the Rangers’ 12-1 drubbing to the Angels, catcher J.P. Arencibia had to deal with plays at the plate and the possible ramifications of the new home-plate collision rule.
On one play, Arencibia moved in front of the plate to take a throw from the outfield as a runner slid home. Later, Arencibia took a throw home from shortstop Andy Parrino in front of the plate and then stepped into the base line and tagged a runner coming home from third.
Each play was business as usual for Arencibia, who said that Rangers catchers have dissected the rules and even practiced taking throws from various angles to make sure they will adhere to the rule.
It’s been easier for Arencibia than Geovany Soto.
"It’s actually what I’ve always done," Arencibia said. "I’ve always been taught to give the plate. The only difference is now I can’t give the plate and then take it away without the ball."
Soto, though, is used to blocking the plate without the ball, and is having to adjust what he has always done. He understands the intent of the rule, but, like Arencibia, has never had an instance where he felt his safety was jeopardized by an oncoming runner.
"You see the ball and its trajectory, right before it gets there I’ve been getting down and blocking the plate," Soto said. "I’ve got to step in front and kind of ole a tag. It’s going to be tough."