Third baseman Adrian Beltre arrived at Texas Rangers spring training with an announcement: He has a strained left calf and he might not play in the World Baseball Classic.
Beltre said he was injured Tuesday while working out at his home. He underwent an MRI that showed the strain, which he said is slightly more severe than a grade 1. Grade 3 is the most severe strain.
He wants to play for the Dominican Republic in the WBC, which begins March 9 in Miami, but recognizes that being ready for the Rangers’ season takes precedence. To that end, the Rangers announced in a press release that he is out for the first round and questionable for any additional rounds.
“I’m going to go on how I’m healing and I’m going to go on how I feel,” Beltre said. “Right now, I’m not going to say I’m not going to play. I can’t say it yet.
“I’ve just got to be smart about this because there’s a lot at stake here [with the Rangers]. I don’t want to rush anything. It’s too early for me to think about a decision.
“If I’m feeling 100 percent and I’m ready to play, then why not? Obviously, I’m not going to force anything. I know my main concern is getting ready for the season. We have a lot we can accomplish here.”
Beltre said he told Moises Alou, general manager of the Dominican team, that if he isn’t ready for the first round, he’ll try to play in the second round the following week in San Diego. Beltre will hit in the cage and play catch until the calf is ready for a tougher test.
“Until he’s out here and we see how he progresses, it’s tough to really talk about what’s in the future,” Rangers assistant general manager Mike Daly said. “We support the WBC, and we support Adrian playing for his home country. It’s going to be how he feels and see how he responds.”