The Rangers are already without second baseman Rougned Odor, who will be out at least a couple more weeks with a strained left hamstring, and Elvis Andrus, who will likely be out until June with a fracture in his right elbow. They just got back Delino DeShields on Sunday after he missed three weeks with a broken bone in his left wrist. Now this.
"Obviously disappointed because we already have other key players hurt," Beltre said. "It's no secret we have been struggling offensively and trying to find a way to get through it. I'm supposed to be one of the guys who is getting better, and now this happens."
The Rangers have two options at the Major League level to replace Beltre. Joey Gallo's primary position in the Minor Leagues was third base, although he was focused on first base in Spring Training and has since moved to left field because of other injuries. Renato Nunez, who was acquired off waivers from the Athletics last week, has also played more third base than other positions in his career.
The Rangers don't have a true third baseman at Triple-A Round Rock. Hanser Alberto is their most experienced infielder at Round Rock, but he plays mainly middle-infield. If they go with Nunez or Gallo, it could mean calling up an extra outfielder, either Ryan Rua, Willie Calhoun or Destin Hood.
"Listen, there are tough times in sports," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We talk about it all the time, the inherent dangers on the field of play. For that group of players in the clubhouse, I feel for all of them. They go out there and battle and play hard and grind through adversity. To lose the number of players we have, it's tough, it's gut-wrenching. But I will continue to say this. We will continue to play hard. There is no quit. We will continue to fight."
This is the same hamstring that limited Beltre at the end of last season. The Rangers were careful with him in Spring Training, and Beltre said he has felt great since then.
But that all changed in the eighth inning. Beltre came to bat with Shin-Soo Choo on first and two outs, and lined what should have been a double into the right-center gap. While Choo was circling the bases, Beltre pulled up immediately and had to painfully hobble his way to first base.
"I hit the ball, started to jog to first," Beltre said. "The fourth step I felt it grab."
There was no hesitation. Beltre was immediately pulled from the game. Now the Rangers will wait, and it's not likely to be good news.
"Like I said, it's not feeling great but we'll wait until the MRI to see what is going on in there," Beltre said.