Beltre (hamstring) may return to DL for 3rd time

Rangers third baseman has Grade 2 strain, faces questions about future

August 16th, 2018
Texas Rangers' Adrian Beltre (29) watches at the team played against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, August 14, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. Beltre injured his hamstring in last nights game. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)Michael Ainsworth/AP

ARLINGTON -- Rangers third baseman revealed Thursday that he has sustained a Grade 2 left hamstring strain, but he is waiting to see how he feels before making a decision as to whether he will go on the disabled list.

"I think that medically, it's a Grade 2 [strain], but physically I don't feel that bad, so we are going to wait a couple days," Beltre said.

Beltre, MLB's active leader in career hits, sustained the injury while running the bases in the eighth inning of Monday's win over the D-backs. He was out of the lineup for the second straight game Thursday, but took swings and ran on the elliptical prior to the series opener vs. the Angels.

"He's been through it multiple times," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Adrian is at the point where he knows exactly what it feels like and what he can play through."

Beltre, who is batting .278 with seven home runs and 41 RBIs in 86 games this year, is facing questions about his future beyond this season. This latest injury likely precludes the possibility of the veteran being traded before the end of August, and it lends uncertainty to what will happen in the offseason.

Beltre is a free agent at the end of the season, and the Rangers are open to him returning for a ninth year with the club. He has yet to decide if he is ready to retire, but if he plays again next year, he wants it to be with Texas.

"That brings the question of, is this going to keep happening more often?" Beltre said. "Is it worth it to fight back? Is it a sign that maybe it's time to getting close to say goodbye to you guys? Again, it's something that I've been dealing with all my career since I was 20 years old. It's not a new injury that just appeared a year or two ago, this is something that I've been dealing with since I was 20 years old, so it's nothing new."

Beltre has already been placed on the disabled list twice this season with injuries to the same hamstring, missing 28 games. Last year, he missed 61 games over two DL stints, one for the same hamstring.

The 39-year-old says that he's not frustrated by the injury, but rather disappointed. It's something he's been fighting his entire career, but it's just now getting worse.

"It's difficult to tell you I'm going to be careful playing the game when you just play the game," Beltre said. "In that situation, when it asks you to do something, you're going to do it, especially in the situaton where it asks you to do something, you're going to do it. 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, none 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."