Third baseman Adrian Beltre showed off his sprained left thumb Tuesday afternoon to the media, and then expressed his displeasure with the rate at which the injury is healing.
It seems unlikely that he will return from the disabled list when first eligible next week, as expected, and could be looking at closer to four weeks down.
Beltre said that he can grab a bat, but he can’t swing it as he continues to work on the range of motion in the thumb that was dislocated as he slid into second base May 31 trying to break up a double play.
“It’s slowly getting better,” Beltre said. “It’s not healing the way I wanted it to. I go day by day.
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“I wanted to be doing more activities around this time baseball-wise, but everything is going slower than I thought.”
Beltre said that he can’t put a timetable on his return. He has to be able to grip a bat and learn to manage any lingering pain from hot shots to his glove hand or from getting jammed at the plate.
It’s an injury that is likely to bother him to some degree the rest of the season.
“That’s not out of the realm of what’s normal for a baseball player,” manager Jeff Banister said. “The body is only going to heal at the rate it’s going to heal. This is a man who has played through a lot in his career.”
Gonzalez to Hall
Two-time American League MVP Juan Gonzalez and two-time All-Star closer Jeff Russell have been selected for enshrinement into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame on July 11.
Gonzalez was conditionally selected in 2013, but he never committed to the Rangers about accepting the honor and wasn’t inducted. The committee decided to elect him this season without any conditions.
Gonzalez was a key cog on the Rangers’ division-winning clubs in 1996, 1998 and 1999, taking home MVP honors in 1996 and 1998.
He hit 372 homers and drove in 1,180 runs while batting .293 with a .565 slugging percentage in 13 seasons with the Rangers, who signed him in 1986 out of Puerto Rico.
The Rangers traded him to Detroit after the 1999 season but re-signed him in 2002 for two injury-plagued seasons. Gonzalez has been linked to performance-enhancing drugs, though not directly, and vehemently denied using them after his mention in the Mitchell Report and in the book Juiced by Jose Canseco.
Russell is first in club history in games relieved (406) and games finished (251) while sitting second in saves (134) and games (445). He led the league in 1989 with 38 saves, and led the Rangers in saves in four seasons.
Michael Young, the Rangers’ all-time leader in multiple offensive categories, declined to be inducted. He preferred to wait a few more years until his children are older and can savor the memories.
The pitching line from Matt Harrison’s rehab start Monday — six runs in five innings — looks bad, but the reports from Triple A Round Rock were more encouraging.
The left-hander, who is trying to come back from major back surgery, said he had the best movement on his pitches during his comeback and maintained his velocity and stuff throughout the start. Harrison said his fastball sat at 87-88 mph, but he topped out a comeback-high 93 mph.
The problem was command and timing while working on a new delivery that has him pushing more with his left leg.
“He found the middle of the plate a few too many times,” pitching coach Mike Maddux said. “If he commands the fastball and lets the movement work for him, he’ll be fine.”
Harrison will pitch again Saturday at Memphis.
▪ Left-hander Martin Perez (Tommy John surgery) will begin a rehab assignment Wednesday at Double A Frisco, throwing three innings.
▪ The Rangers continue to say that first baseman/outfielder Kyle Blanks could be activated during the three-game series against Oakland. “That’s not up to me,” he said. “Do I feel capable of playing again? I would say yes.”
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760