The MRI exam on Adrian Beltre’s left quadriceps muscle revealed only a mild strain, and the Texas Rangers will give him through the weekend before determining if he needs to be placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Beltre left Tuesday’s game at Fenway Park after collecting an RBI double in the fourth inning. He returned to Texas on Wednesday for an exam by team physician Dr. Keith Meister, and the results were better than what many had anticipated.
Beltre has a track record of managing hamstring strains, and the Rangers, at least for a few days, will give him the benefit of the doubt with his quad. General manager Jon Daniels, though, said he isn’t breathing a sigh of relief yet.
“We’re going to play it conservatively, but we’re going to give him a few days,” Daniels said.
“The quad is new territory for him. My expectation, just knowing him, is that he’s going to say he’s OK and we’re going to have to determine if he really is. We’re going to have to be sure that him playing is not going to risk any of that.
“It’s better than it being more severe, obviously, but anytime you lose a guy for even a little period of time and one of your best players is somewhat compromised, it’s not a great feeling.”
In waiting to make a decision on Beltre, right-hander Colby Lewis won’t join the rotation this weekend. The day off Thursday and the addition of third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff gives the Rangers enough roster flexibility to push Lewis back as late as Tuesday, when the Rangers will need a fifth starter.
Yu Darivsh, Tanners Scheppers and Martin Perez are scheduled to start for the Rangers this weekend against Houston. Lewis and Robbie Ross will pitch Monday and Tuesday, but not necessarily in that order.
Lewis had an out in his minor league deal Thursday, but he agreed to not exercise the option after being assured by pitching coach Mike Maddux and manager Ron Washington that he has a spot in the rotation.
“We’ve got to make a corresponding roster move on the day Colby is activated to pitch,” Daniels said. “We’re buying ourselves a few days. Once Colby is ready to go, we’ve got to create a spot. If we’re not comfortable with where Adrian is, it would be a DL.”
Briefly• The Rangers agreed to a Triple A contract with catcher Chris Gimenez, who had been designated for assignment April 1 and selected free agency Saturday after clearing waivers. Fellow catcher Jose Felix, along with right-hander Doug Mathis, have been released from Round Rock.
• UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks, who trains in Pantego and lives in the DFW area, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch Monday before the Rangers play Seattle.
• The HOV lanes on Interstate 30 close this weekend and remain shut down through August. Fans traveling from Dallas should use the exits for State Highway 161, Ballpark Way, AT&T Way or Collins Street to get to Globe Life Park.