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Beltre will suit up for Dominican in WBC 2017

Veteran confident in decision after testing calf in Cactus League play
Special to MLB.com

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Adrian Beltre understands any reservations the Rangers' organization may have, but he wants to make one thing clear about his decision to play in the World Baseball Classic:

"I'm not crazy."

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Adrian Beltre understands any reservations the Rangers' organization may have, but he wants to make one thing clear about his decision to play in the World Baseball Classic:

"I'm not crazy."

Beltre's status for the 2017 Classic was in doubt after he strained his left calf three days before he reported to Rangers camp last month. He gave himself multiple deadlines to make a decision, each time pushing them back.

Until Monday.

:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::

After Beltre played in Cactus League games Friday, at third base, and Saturday, as the designated hitter, the unquestioned leader of the Rangers announced he will join Team Dominican Republic later this week in Miami for the first round.

"I feel good enough to be there, and that's why I said, 'Yes.' I might not be 100 percent, but I don't remember the last time I was 100 percent," Beltre, a month before turning 38, said after he played four innings Monday against the Mariners in what could be his final tuneup.

"I took it slow. I did what the trainers told me to do, because I wanted to make sure if I made the decision to go, it was because I did the right thing. I was in between about what to do, but a couple days ago I made up my mind."

Tweet from @Rangers: WATCH: @EmilyJonesMcCoy catches up with Beltre on #WBC2017 & more. #RangersST pic.twitter.com/ZgSZ99mU5r

Beltre was not part of the Dominican team that won the 2013 Classic.

"I was happy they won, sad I couldn't be there," he said. "It's the game of baseball that I want to play.

"I was going back and forth to see if [my calf] is good enough to play. I pushed myself get out there to play some games and test it running the bases. I feel fine, so that was my final decision. Obviously if I'm good enough to play out here, I'm good enough to play over there. "I would like represent my country. This will be my last WBC, and I'm proud to be called Dominican. Hopefully we win."

Ringolsby: Beltre driven by love of country

Beltre hasn't decided if he will leave Arizona on Tuesday night or on Wednesday. He may try to talk his way into Tuesday's Rangers lineup for one last test.

In his second at-bat Monday, Beltre lined out to left field on what he later said was his best swing this spring.

Video: TEX@SEA: Heredia lays out to snag Beltre's liner

There is no guarantee Beltre will be in the Dominican lineup every game -- the Mariners' Jean Segura was added as a replacement when Beltre became questionable and already left for Florida. If so, Beltre expects more of himself on a team with a shot at repeating as champion.

"It's not two or three at-bats and get out of there or work on your swing. You want to produce," he said. "You want to make sure you help your team win ballgames."

On the flip side: "You don't have to wake up so early anymore."

The World Baseball Classic runs through March 22. In the U.S., games will air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN will provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. will have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. The tournament will be distributed internationally across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.

Chris Gabel is a contributor to MLB.com.

Dominican Republic, Texas Rangers, Adrian Beltre