Texas Rangers

Beltre’s calf issue holding up Rangers’ roster decisions

The Texas Rangers were set to leave their spring training home Wednesday afternoon, but would do so without a set Opening Day roster because of their third baseman’s pesky right calf muscle.

The Rangers expect that Adrian Beltre will be in the lineup Monday against the Cleveland Indians (6:05 p.m., Globe Life Park) even though a minor strain in his calf could prevent him from going more than a week without a plate appearance.

But there is no guarantee that Beltre will be available — even he seems resigned to that — and because of that the Rangers could wait until the 11 a.m. Sunday deadline to set their season-opening roster. There is also a chance that Joey Gallo could open the season with the Rangers for the first time in his career.

“My mindset is to start the season playing until otherwise told something different,” Beltre said. “Obviously, you don’t want to go into the season hurt. I don’t mind the discomfort. I just don’t want to blow it up. I know that if I start the season I won’t be 100 percent. That’s for sure.

“Hopefully it calms down and I can play a game or two before the season starts and be OK playing those games. Obviously, I’m going to have to nurse it the first two or three weeks until I’m 100 percent.”

An MRI exam Monday showed no significant strain, and it’s not the same calf as the one that had a mild strain in it when Beltre reported to spring training. However, he hasn’t hit on the field since Sunday, when he took only one plate appearance before leaving to work on his swing in the cages.

Including the World Baseball Classic, Beltre has 28 at-bats this spring and only one hit. He is 0 for 12 in eight Cactus League games and had hoped to use the final days of camp to work on getting his swing honed in. Beltre, who usually finds his rhythm after 40-45 spring at-bats, hit in the cages Tuesday and had a more extensive cage session Wednesday. He expressed no concern about the state of his swing.

“I’m good,” he said.

The Rangers are not yet leaning toward putting Beltre on the 10-day disabled list to start the season. With the ability to backdate DL moves three days from the first MLB game Sunday and with an off day April 6, Beltre could miss only the first five games of the season if the decision is made to DL him.

He believes he could play third base with the calf issue, but he needs to be able to run to avoid not being in the lineup Monday.

“We don’t have to make any decisions until Sunday,” assistant general manager Mike Daly said. “In our head and I think it’s in Adrian’s head, he’ll be ready to go on Opening Day against the Cleveland Indians.

“Adrian knows himself. It’s amazing the type of ailments he’s been able to play through during his career. We still have time with Adrian to discuss what’s best for him and for us.”

Gallo and Jurickson Profar could become the front-runners to be Beltre’s replacement should he hit the DL. Gallo has impressed the Rangers with the way he has dedicated himself to his routine and hasn’t altered his approach or swing at the first sign of a slump.

He launched his team-high-tying fourth spring homer Tuesday in his first game in more than a week because of tightness in his left hamstring.

Profar played third base last season as Beltre sat out in June with a strained left hamstring.

If Beltre doesn’t go on the DL, the Rangers would likely carry a four-man bench with Drew Robinson as the utility player and an eight-man bullpen even though they have discussed using a three-man bench and nine-man bullpen.

That could explain why right-hander Jose Leclerc hasn’t been optioned to Triple A Round Rock.

Having four bench players in case of a Beltre setback “would be prudent,” manager Jeff Banister said.

The Rangers, though, aren’t yet overly concerned that Beltre won’t be ready by Monday. Nevertheless, they are holding off on revealing their Opening Day roster because of the chance that he isn’t available.

“We can view what he’s done and how he prepares and judge that accordingly,” Banister said. “We still are in the assessment process with Adrian, so we can’t make any real roster decisions or finalize anything until we know exactly where we’re at.”

Jeff Wilson: 817-390-7760, @JeffWilson_FWST

Texas

000

000

000

0

Kansas City

000

000

000

0

Texas ab

r

h

bi

KC ab

r

h

bi

DShelds cf

3

0

1

0

A.Grdon rf

2

0

0

0

O’Neill cf

1

0

0

0

O’Brien rf

1

0

1

0

E.Andrs ss

3

0

0

0

Mstakas 3b

2

0

0

0

J.Prfar ss

1

0

1

0

Cthbert 3b

2

0

0

0

Ro.Odor 2b

2

0

1

0

E.Hsmer 1b

2

0

0

0

B.Perez 2b

2

0

0

0

Br.Pena 1b

2

0

1

0

M.Npoli 1b

2

0

0

0

Br.Moss dh

2

0

0

0

Altmann 1b

2

0

0

0

Escldnd ph

2

0

0

0

C.Gomez dh

4

0

2

0

Orlando cf

2

0

0

0

J.Lcroy c

3

0

0

0

B.Burns lf

2

0

1

0

J.Gallo 3b

3

0

0

0

Mrrfeld lf

2

0

1

0

N.Mzara lf

2

0

0

0

Te.Gore pr

1

0

0

0

P.Scott lf

1

0

0

0

Escobar ss

2

0

0

0

J.Hying rf

2

0

0

0

Arteaga ss

1

0

0

0

Rbinson ph

0

0

0

0

D.Btera c

3

0

0

0

Mondesi 2b

1

0

0

0

C.Colon 2b

2

0

0

0

Totals 31

0

5

0

Totals 31

0

4

0

E—Cuthbert (2), Pena (1). DP—Texas 2, Kansas City 0. LOB—Texas 5, Kansas City 5.

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Gee

6

2

0

0

0

9

Alvarez

1

1

0

0

0

2

Leclerc

1

0

0

0

0

1

Reyes

1

1

0

0

1

1

Kansas City

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Duffy

4

3

0

0

0

2

Herrera

1

1

0

0

0

1

Soria

1

0

0

0

0

0

Strahm

1

0

0

0

0

3

Young

1

0

0

0

1

2

Minor

1

1

0

0

0

1

WP—Gee. Umpires—Home, Billy Cunha; First, Cory Blaser; Second, NO UMPIRE; Third, Gabe Morales. T—2:11. A—4,200

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