Third baseman Adrian Beltre said that he has the kind of hamstring injury that usually puts a player on the disabled list, but the Texas Rangers will give him at least through the weekend to see if he can avoid the 15-day DL.
Beltre said that an MRI exam showed a Grade 1 strain in his left hamstring after he was injured running the bases Wednesday night. He didn’t play Thursday or Friday, and manager Jeff Banister said that Beltre’s status for this weekend is “emergency only.”
Beltre did some light jogging Friday at Safeco Field and took batting practice, but even he admitted that the DL is a possibility.
“I’m disappointed that I can’t play,” Beltre said. “It’s Grade 1. There’s some strain in there, but we’re going to wait this series and see how it goes after that. I don’t want to jump to conclusions too early. Maybe I can play before the 15 days.”
Players are typically sidelined two to three weeks with a Grade 1 strain, but Beltre isn’t the typical player. He’s the Rangers’ best player, their captain, and the veteran in his 19th season is afforded a few games to see if he can manage the injury.
Beltre has become a pro at managing his legs. He had a serious hamstring injury in 2011 and a quadriceps issue in 2014 that sent him to the disabled list, and has played through past muscle strains without missing a significant stretch.
“You give guys like this a number of days before you go jumping into that DL situation right off the bat,” Banister said. “You give him an opportunity to go through the treatment process, and if there’s a decision that needs to be made after that, then it gets made. I’d like to give him the full complement of days here.”
Beltre said that leading up to the strain, his legs had felt as good as they had in years. He didn’t have any trouble scoring from first base Monday night on Rougned Odor’s double to left field, but he felt his hamstring grab as he started the to round second base on Prince Fielder’s eighth-inning single Wednesday.
He exited immediately. He had played 151 consecutive games, the fourth-longest streak in Major League Baseball.
Though 37 years old, Beltre doesn’t believe he needs to take any extra time off or pick and choose when to play hard.
“I was feeling great. I was running fine,” Beltre said. “What does age have to do with it?”
Catcher Robinson Chirinos was in the starting lineup for the first time since breaking his right ulna April 9, and he doesn’t feel like the two months on the 60-day DL hurt his working relationship with the pitching staff.
I feel like I was out two months but never left this team.
Catcher Robinson Chirinos
Chirinos was inactive the first three weeks after the injury, but was able to catch bullpen sessions and was regularly looking at scouting reports, watching video and talking to pitchers.
“I know how everybody is doing and what they like to use,” Chirinos said. “I’ve talked to the guys, and we’re on the same page. I feel like I was out two months but never left this team.”
Banister said that he likely won’t play Chirinos on back-to-back days initially and will also try to keep the other two catchers, Bobby Wilson and Bryan Holaday, as active as possible. Holaday has started practicing at first base, third base and in the outfield.
Wilson is likely to catch Saturday, Banister said.
Draft Day 2
The Rangers selected four college pitchers among their eight picks in Rounds 3-10 of the First-Year Player Draft, but Florida prep third baseman Kole Enright was their first pick of the day at No. 99 overall.
Arizona State right-hander Hever Bueno was taken in the ninth round even though he will have Tommy John surgery Monday. The Rangers have selected a pitcher who had Tommy John surgery three straight years.
“He came out firing very well early in the year before he got hurt,” amateur scouting director Kip Fagg said. “He has a chance to have above-average stuff.”
▪ Right-hander Yu Darvish threw 21 pitches in his regular between-starts bullpen session, and pitching coach Doug Brocail said that he expects Darvish to start Monday at Oakland even though he left his start Wednesday because of shoulder tightness.
▪ Right-hander A.J. Griffin (shoulder) is scheduled to throw 55 to 60 pitches Tuesday in his second rehab start after throwing 4 1/3 innings Thursday night. Brocail said that Griffin could need four rehab starts.