Texas Rangers

Rangers Reaction: Time to call Beltre 'Slash.' It's better than 'Mr. DL'

Adrian "Slash" Beltre singled twice Thursday in his first game off the 10-day disabled list.
Adrian "Slash" Beltre singled twice Thursday in his first game off the 10-day disabled list. The Associated Press

A brief chat with Joey Gallo about his new, added duty as the Texas Rangers' backup center fielder evolved into my longstanding belief that newspapers should begin permitting curse words in print.

The big ones.

Gallo, who had very casually used one when talking about what would have to happen for him to actually play center in place of Delino DeShields, was fully supportive of newspapers going blue.

The writers couldn't use curse words under my plan. For instance, a writer couldn't go all Samantha Bee or use a curse word as a modifier. However, if a player or business owner or elected official dropped one, it would run in all its glory rather than [expletive deleted].

Gallo contended that some celebrities, who count youth as many of their followers, let the cussing flow freely. Cursing is pervasive these days, he said.

Let 'em rip. Speaking of which, the Star-Telegram used the word "farted" in a headline earlier this week.

Here's some Rangers Reaction from a 6-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners.

1. Third baseman Adrian Beltre says that he has a new position.

"I'm a third baseman-slash-DH," Beltre said. "All that's new is the slash."

From this moment forward, just call him "Slash."

It sure beats "Mr. DL."

The purpose of the slash is to keep Beltre from hitting the disabled list for a third time this season. He came off it for the second time Thursday and was the Rangers' designated hitter.

He won't play Friday. He will play third base this weekend at Anaheim, but not in both games. He might sit again for the Sunday day game following the Saturday night game.

Meanwhile, some of his teammates will scatter to other positions to accommodate him.

That's quite a fuss being made.

"I just work here," Beltre said.

The goal, both his and the Rangers', is to keep him working. Ultimately, it doesn't matter to Beltre where he is playing — as long as he is playing.

"My mind is get in the lineup today and play," he said.

Beltre isn't oblivious to the fact that he doesn't have much time left in his career. He keeps using the R word more and more. He appears to be trying to maximize what time he has left.

If that means calling him "Slash," so be it.

It sure beats "Mr. DL."

2. Hanser Alberto and Isiah Kiner-Falefa have never played outfield in an MLB game, and Gallo has played center only once. That came way back in 2015.

Shin-Soo Choo hasn't played left field since 2014, his first year with the Rangers.

Yet, just about any outfield combination is possible in the short term after the Rangers optioned Ryan Rua to Triple A Round Rock to clear a roster spot for Beltre.

Translation: The Rangers would rather have three infielders play the outfield than Rua, an outfielder, even if it's only for a few days.

But maybe it will be longer.

Carlos Tocci, the Rule 5 pick who has been out 37 games with a hip injury, will play his 20th game on rehab assignment this weekend and must be activated from the DL.

The Rangers can't option him pesky of those pesky Rule 5 rules. They would have to designate him for assignment, hope he goes unclaimed and hope the Philadelphia Phillies either don't want him back or would want to work out a trade.

Tocci is hitting a robust .095 over 22 at-bats during the Triple A portion of his rehab assignment. No MLB team would claim him, because the Rule 5 rules would apply to them, too.

Drew Robinson is another option for center field, but his hip has acted up again and he hasn't played in a week.

And the Rangers still optioned Rua, who was optioned earlier this season when the Rangers claimed Renato Nunez. Nunez has since been DFA'd.

At this point, it would seem the best thing for Rua and the Rangers is a fresh start somewhere else.

3. Finally, a few leftover thoughts:

Beltre stepped of the DL and collected two singles, moving into 22nd on the all-time hits list at 3,082. He hadn't seen a live pitch in 17 games, unless you want to count a Matt Moore simulated game last week. Not a lot of hitters can do that.

Mike Minor allowed five runs (four earned) in five innings, but it sure seemed like he didn't pitch that poorly. He surrendered a two-run homer to Nelson Cruz, the 11th off Minor the season. That's one problem the left-hander is having through is first 11 starts. The other is an inability to wipe out hitters when given the chance. Neither was the case Thursday. "I was all over the zone," he said. "I didn't throw many quality pitches."

Nomar Mazara homered to start the fourth, giving him 13 on the season and 10 in May. That's two off the club record 12 hit by Josh Hamilton in his sizzling start to the 2012 season. Four of those game in one game at Baltimore. Wherever he is, I hope he is well.

The Rangers are headed to Anaheim for the first time this season and then won't be back until September, when they will go to the Big A twice in the final two weeks. The Rangers, who have been to Seattle twice in the past two weeks, don't return until the final four games of the season. Nice scheduling, MLB.

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