Adrian Beltre was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list Thursday afternoon and was scheduled to bat fourth and serve as the designated hitter for the Texas Rangers in their series finale against the Seattle Mariners.
Beltre and manager Jeff Banister hinted the past two days that Thursday was a possibility for Beltre to return for the second time this season for a strained left hamstring. He was originally injured April 25 and then again May 13 only five days after coming off the DL.
Banister said that Beltre's initial workload will be monitored. It will include games like Thursday, when he is the DH, and games when he is off entirely. He won't play in day games after night games, and he won't play Friday to open at three-game series at Anaheim after a late-night flight.
"He will DH a little more and on travel days he won't play in the field and may not play depending on the travel and the workload," Banister said. "Early on, at least. He will play third at some point this weekend."
Beltre has played 29 games this season and is batting .314. He has only one home run to go with 12 RBIs.
He said that he has accepted that he is now a "third baseman-slash-DH," even though he doesn't care for DH. He also doesn't care for the DL, and more DH days will increase his chances at avoiding another injury.
"I just need to be smarter," Beltre said. "If I see my name in the lineup at DH, I will be the DH that day. If I see my name in the lineup at third base, I'll be at third base. It's that simple."
The Rangers cleared a roster spot for Beltre by optioning outfielder Ryan Rua to Triple A Round Rock. Rua is batting .163 and is 3 for 33 in his past 14 games.