"Short of just a cramp, Grade 1 is as good as we can hope for," manager Jeff Banister said. "My thinking is we'll look at this conservatively, but knowing Adrian and his history, what he is able to maneuver through, anything is possible. This is about how he heals and what strength he can get in the hamstring and how he can deal with it."
Banister said Isiah Kiner-Falefa will move from second to third base while Beltre is down. Drew Robinson will play second base and the Rangers are committed to keeping Joey Gallo in left field or at first base. The Rangers also have Renato Nunez to play third, first and left field as a right-handed bat off the bench.
"[Kiner-Falefa] will be primarily at third base," Banister said. "We talked it over with our development people and our scouts, and with the personnel we have, Kiner-Falefa has probably played more on the left side of the diamond and Drew's skills are best suited for second base."
Kiner-Falefa started at third base on Wednesday for the first time since being called up on April 10. He had started nine games at second and two at shortstop, but played 110 games at third base in the Minor Leagues as part of his development as a utility player.
Beltre joins shortstop Elvis Andrus and second baseman Rougned Odor on the disabled list. Odor is still at least 10-14 days away from returning because of a strained left hamstring. He has only started to do light jogging. Andrus isn't expected back until sometime in June.
"It's a gut-punch," Banister said. "It doesn't feel good. But I believe elite competitors don't get caught up in the situation. There are guys in that clubhouse who have a real opportunity that they wouldn't have if not for the injuries."
The Rangers recalled Ryan Rua from Triple-A Round Rock to replace Beltre. This will be his third tour with the Rangers and he will join Nunez as a utility player on the bench.
Bush sent down The Rangers also optioned pitcher Matt Bush to Round Rock to make room for Doug Fister, who was activated off the disabled list.
Bush was sent down with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. He also had nine walks in 11 1/3 innings.
"With Matt, we've identified a couple of things he can work on," Banister said. "This is a great time for Matt to go down and focus on sharpening his edge and simplify his plan of attack, be ready to come back fresh and help us."
Bush was given an opportunity to be a starter in Spring Training, but ended up in the bullpen. Banister said Bush will continue to work as a reliever at Round Rock.
Rangers beat • Wednesday marked only the seventh time since the beginning of the 2011 season that the Rangers lineup was missing both Beltre and Andrus.
• Rangers pitchers hit four batters in Tuesday's game. That's the fourth time in club history they have hit four or more batters in a game and they went into Wednesday's games leading the Majors with 20 hit batsmen.
• The Rangers will start Mike Minor, Bartolo Colon and Martin Perez during their three-game series against the Blue Jays this weekend. Cole Hamels will start on Monday against the Indians, passing over Matt Moore. Banister said the Rangers are undecided after Monday.
• Tim Lincecum will fly to Arizona on Thursday to continue his throwing program while the Rangers are in Toronto and Cleveland. He could begin a rehab assignment the week of May 6 if all goes well in Surprise. He is eligible to come off the disabled list May 28.