Adrian Beltre is batting .500 after his first 12 Cactus League at-bats, and even he noted that it’s unusual for him.
He usually is nursing a minor injury or working at his own pace early in spring training, but and he had a reason for his fast start after launching a three-run homer Saturday as part of a 2-for-3, four-RBI game.
“I can’t do that this year. I’m a going to be a free agent after this year,” Beltre said, jokingly.
He is going to become a free agent if he and the Rangers can’t work out an extension. There is mutual interest in a new deal rather than allowing the future Hall of Famer to hit free agency, but nothing of substance has happened in talks with agent Scott Boras.
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“I’ve been a free agent three times,” Beltre said. “My job is to be here and do what I do. Whatever happens is going to happen. If not, I’m happy to play this season and become a free agent.”
If swing after six spring games is any indication, the Rangers might want to get going on the contract talks. Beltre’s fourth-inning homer was his fourth of the spring, a towering shot to right-center field that was the highlight of a six-run rally.
Adrian Beltre was batting only .255 at the All-Star break last season before posting a .318 second half and 38 RBIs over his final 32 games.
Beltre, though, said he’s not where he needs to be for the regular season just yet. He batted only .146 last spring, and followed that by batting .175 through the first 16 games.
Despite that, he says spring training has no correlation to the regular season.
“I still have some working to do, but I’m just looking for that consistency,” Beltre said. “Spring training has nothing to do with how you start the season. I just want to get out of here healthy and when the season starts, it just clicks.”
Lewis works B game
Right-hander Colby Lewis became the first Rangers rotation member to log his third spring appearance, allowing two runs on seven hits in four innings of a B game Saturday morning.
Lewis threw 66 pitches against a team of mostly Chicago White Sox minor-leaguers, though outfielder Austin Jackson batted second in every inning.
The game was played on Nolan Ryan Field instead of in Surprise Stadium, but Lewis was still motivated to perform well.
33 Starts for Colby Lewis in 2015, a career-high and tied for the team lead with Yovani Gallardo
“It doesn’t matter if there are 10,000 people or 500 watching,” Lewis said. “For me, once the hitters stand in the box, you start having adrenaline and you’re trying to get people out.
“I felt good. I was excited about that. I had my legs under me, and my arm felt good. I felt I was around the zone and doing the things I needed to do.”
Second baseman Rougned Odor is moving closer to returning to a game after missing the past five because of tightness in his right oblique.
Odor took soft toss Saturday without any issues and is expected to graduate to batting practice as soon as Sunday.
Shawn Tolleson threw another bullpen session, this time 20 pitches, and should find himself in a game in the next few days. The closer has been slowed because of back spasms.
▪ The Rangers reassigned catcher Kellin Deglan and right-handers Scott Williams and Myles Jaye to minor-league camp. All three were non-roster invites and were in big-league camp for the first time.
▪ Manager Jeff Banister and left-hander Derek Holland will accompany the Rangers to San Antonio next week for Big League Weekend at the Alamodome. The full travel squad will be revealed next week.