Adrian Beltre answers key question: Did he rush to get off DL?
The news delivered around 3 p.m. local time Tuesday didn't come as a surprise: The Texas Rangers placed Adrian Beltre on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
A few hours later, just before first pitch of a wacky two-game series against the Seattle Mariners, the injury as diagnosed as a mild strain in the same area that put Beltre on the DL in April.
The leg muscle tore again Sunday at Houston, and Beltre knew then that it wasn't good. He didn't undergo an MRI on Monday, an off day, perhaps as the Rangers waited another Beltre miracle.
Alas, he couldn't turn water to wine on this one, just as he couldn't last month when the same hamstring gave out and put him on this injury path.
The Rangers' working theory is that no one knows Beltre's body better than him. If he says he can go, it's go time.
That isn't going to change, apparently, even though his muscles appear less and less pliable as he has entered into his late 30s.
The reasoning? He's Adrian Beltre, damn it.
"We're talking about a player that's pretty experienced at these situations," manager Jeff Banister said. "This is a guy that has played 20 years. He deserves the input that he has on these type of situations. You're not talking about a 25-year-old, a 26-year-old.
"You're talking about a future Hall of Famer that likes being on the field and likes to play. Loves to play. He's given some latitude there to be giving some input. Should there be input from my side, from [general manager Jon Daniels'] side? Absolutely.
"At the end of the day, we're going to trust what Adrian ... when he says he feels good, he feels good."
Beltre was playing his fifth game off the DL on Sunday, yet there has been no publicly stated belief that he was rushed back. He said he gave it enough time.
"I think I did," Beltre said. "I talked to the doctors and the doctors said it was mild and could be treated in two or three weeks. I was ready in two weeks, and I was comfortable playing."
The multiple calf strains early last season, which started before spring training and didn’t allow him to play until late May?
“The calf last year was just annoying,” he said.
Besides, the tales of Beltre rising from DL and returning to the Rangers' lineup have become legendary.
There was the time in 2015 when he was out only 22 days despite spraining and cutting his thumb so badly that, according to legend, a bone was exposed.
Later that year in the postseason, he found a way to take the field for the final two games of the American League Division Series despite wrenching his back in Game 1.
Strained left hamstring in 2016? Out seven games. Sprained ankle last season? No DL. And his strained left hamstring Aug. 31 that was said to need six weeks to heal? Beltre returned in 12 days.
He spent 12 days on the DL with his first strain the season. Second baseman Rougned Odor spent 30 days on the DL with a similar injury.
"We praised him no too long ago for defying the odds, right?" Banister said. "OK."
Beltre was re-injured against the Astros after he fielded a grounder and attempted to beat Yuli Gurriel to third base for a force out. Beltre left the field during a pitching change.
He hit the DL for the first time this season April 25 after he was injured as he starting to run out a ball hit into the gap in right-center field and barely reached first base.
Rookie infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa took over for Beltre then and will do so again during this DL stint. Kiner-Falefa started 21 consecutive games as the injury replacement for Odor, Beltre and Jurickson Profar before Odor returned from the DL on Friday.
Apparently, it's however long Beltre feels he needs.
"We all trust Adrian, [head athletic trainer] Kevin Harmon and the [medical] group to put him in the best position to put him on the field," assistant general manager Josh Boyd said. "Banny has a ton of trust in AB when he tells him he's good to go. When he comes off the DL, then he's Beltre again just like he always is."
He's Adrian Beltre, damn it.