Adrian Beltre acknowledged his latest injury has him wondering about his baseball future.
The Texas Rangers third baseman faces a decision whether to call it a career after this season, or play at age 40 in 2019. Sustaining a third hamstring injury this season makes the decision more difficult ... or easy ... depending on the perspective.
Asked if this injury impacted his career perspective, Beltre said: “Yes.”
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“You want me to elaborate on that?” Beltre said, smiling. “That brings the question of, ‘Is this going to keep happening more often? Is it worth it to fight it back? Is it a sign that maybe it’s time to get close to say goodbye to you guys?’”
Beltre has battled hamstring injuries throughout his career, but it’s never been this frequent in a season. He’s already landed on the disabled list twice, essentially costing him a month of playing time.
He missed 12 games the first time his left hamstring grabbed him, and 16 the next time.
“Again, it’s something that I’ve been dealing with all my career since I was 20 years old,” Beltre said. “It’s not a new injury that just appeared a year or two. This is something that I’ve been dealing with since I was 20 years old so it’s nothing new.”
Beltre said they’ll re-evaluate it in the next couple of days. He is not in tonight’s starting lineup.
Beltre injured his hamstring late in Tuesday’s game when he scored from second. It’s been diagnosed as a Grade 2 strain.
If Beltre lands on the 10-day disabled list, he expects to return when he’s eligible or a day or two after.
“We’re going to wait a couple days to make a decision on that,” Beltre said. “Physically I don’t feel that bad, so we’re going to wait a couple days to make a decision on that.”
At this stage of his career, Beltre dismissed the notion that he gets “frustrated” by injuries.
“I get disappointed. It’s sad,” Beltre said. “It’s definitely the first time it’s happened three times in one year. Obviously we tried to do everything in our power to not let it happen, but it’s baseball. You play the game of baseball, stuff happens, and sometimes you can’t prevent it.”
He had no regrets with how he handled the play in which he came down with the injury, saying he had no indication that something might be wrong.
“In that situation, when it asks you to do something, you’re going to do it,” Beltre said. “If I’m feeling some kind of soreness, or if I wasn’t feeling great the last week or so, I would say maybe I would not run that hard. But my leg was feeling great. No discomfort whatsoever. I didn’t get any hint that I was going to get this kind of injury. Sometimes you can’t prevent it. It just happens.”
Beltre, 39, is batting .278 with seven home runs and 41 RBIs in 86 games this season.
Manager Jeff Banister said the Rangers are in a position, standings-wise, where they can have a short bench for a few games before making a decision on Beltre.
“Adrian is kind of at the point where he knows exactly what it feels like, what he can play with, play through, so I listen to both [him and the medical staff],” Banister said. “Kind of evaluate from both ends. This is not just a one-dimensional decision. There’s a lot of layers to it -- from the medical side to Adrian’s side and then where we’re at as a team and when do we need him back out on the field. We need him back out on the field when he’s capable of playing.”