Texas Rangers

Rangers’ early exit especially tough on title-hungry Beltre

Adrian Beltre was in disbelief. When the Texas Rangers’ season ended late Sunday night in Toronto, the undisputed leader of the clubhouse wasn’t ready to go home.

“I didn’t think we were going to lose,” said Beltre, 37. “I believed in my heart had we won that game, we had a really good chance [to win the ALDS]. It was hard to see how it ended. I couldn’t comprehend how it happened. We did not expect to be out in three.”

For Beltre, the abrupt end to the season comes especially hard. Although he enjoyed another excellent individual year, batting .300 and leading the team with 104 RBIs, the chances to obtain his first World Series title are dwindling.

“My window is closing more than other guys. For me, it’s more difficult,” he said. “We still believe we have a good team here to do it next year and the next couple of years. We know it will never be easy.”

Beltre, who will play his 20th season in the big leagues in 2017, took the blame for the team’s offensive struggles. He went 2 for 11 with no RBIs in the Blue Jays’ 3-0 series sweep.

“It hurts more because you do believe you can do it and you know you have the pieces to do it,” he said. “And to not do it is obviously more painful and you see the window closing. I don’t have 10 more years. Maybe one, two, maybe three. I know this is something I’ve wanted so bad and I don’t want to go home [retire] without it.”

Beltre said he’ll continue to play as long as he’s producing and the team has a chance to win the World Series.

Gallo’s winter

Joey Gallo will soon depart for his first stint in winter ball in Venezuela, where he’ll primarily play first base. He’ll play for Magallanes for the first half only, general manager Jon Daniels said. In limited major league time in 2016, Gallo was 1 for 25 with a homer and 19 strikeouts.

“Obviously, not the experience Joey wanted,” manager Jeff Banister said. “However, Joey is still a premium talent in the sense that this guy has what very few have in the game, the raw power that is off the charts.”

Banister said Gallo is still learning how major league pitchers are attacking him.

“It’s the hitting ability and consistency that needs to improve,” Banister said. “He’s going to get better. We believe he’s going to get better.”

Briefly

▪ Beltre is considering playing for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic this spring.

▪ Closer Sam Dyson said he’ll wait a couple weeks longer before beginning his throwing program this winter. He’ll start in early January.

▪ Interim third base coach Spike Owen has been offered a position to be determined in the Rangers’ minor league system for 2017.

▪ Left-handers Brett Martin and Andrew Faulkner have been added to the Surprise roster in the Arizona Fall League, which opened Tuesday. Left-hander Joe Filomeno has withdrawn because of a back strain.

▪ Right-hander Ariel Jurado will pitch for Magallanes in Venezuela, along with Gallo. Right-hander Nick Martinez will join La Romana in the Dominican Republic next week.

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST

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