Beltre exits Rangers’ game early with leg injury
By Jeff Wilson
April 24, 2018 10:09 PM
A lousy start to the Texas Rangers’ season just got worse.
Third baseman Adrian Beltre, the team’s best player and a shoo-in for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, left Tuesday’s game against the Oakland A’s in the eighth inning with a strained left hamstring.
Beltre had just lined a ball into the gap in right-center field, scoring Shin-Soo Choo, but Beltre pulled up on his way to first base and immediately walked off the field once time was called.
He said afterward that he was going to wait until an MRI exam Wednesday before giving his full take on the injury, but acknowledged that it isn’t good. A trip to the disabled list seems like an inevitability.
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“We’ll see tomorrow,” Beltre said. “It’s not feeling great.”
The Rangers are already without starting middle infielder Elvis Andrus (broken right elbow) and Rougned Odor (strained left hamstring). Odor could be back by next week, but Andrus is looking at a late-May or early-June return.
Beltre missed nearly the first two months last season with a strained right calf and also missed time in September with a strained left hamstring.
Beltre was also spiked in the sixth inning as former Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy slid into his calf. Beltre said that didn’t affect his hamstring and also said that Lucroy’s slide was clean.
“I was standing right in the middle,” Beltre said. “It was my fault.”
The Rangers have a few options to fill in for Beltre.
They could move Joey Gallo to third base, his natural position, and play rookie Ronald Guzman every day at first base or recall Ryan Rua to platoon with Guzman.
The Rangers also have Renato Nunez, who is most comfortable at third base.
Without Beltre’s bat, the Rangers could turn to their biggest offensive threat in the minors, Willie Calhoun. He could play left field with Gallo at third, or the Rangers could use Calhoun at designated hitter and go with Nomar Mazara in left field and Choo in right.
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