SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Still nursing a calf injury, Adrian Beltre will be evaluated by Rangers team physician Dr. Keith Meister on Friday to help the third baseman decide whether he'll play for his native Dominican Republic in the first round of the World Baseball Classic beginning on March 9.Beltre, who
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Still nursing a calf injury, Adrian Beltre will be evaluated by Rangers team physician Dr. Keith Meister on Friday to help the third baseman decide whether he'll play for his native Dominican Republic in the first round of the World Baseball Classic beginning on March 9.
Beltre, who had originally planned to make his decision by Thursday, was to undergo an MRI in the afternoon before consulting with Meister. Beltre strained his left calf muscle working out at home in California on Feb. 14, just three days before the start of Spring Training. He has seen only limited non-game activity in Arizona.
"I'm feeling better," Beltre said. "I've been doing a little running. But I just don't know if I'm going to be ready enough to be able to help the [Dominican] team. I really want to go, but at the same time, I don't want to just go and show up."
:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::
Beltre did not participate in the last Classic in 2013, when the Dominicans won the championship. He was on the roster in 2009, but he did not play as the team didn't make it out of the first round. Beltre was a key member for his home country in the inaugural Classic in 2006, batting .391 with four homers and nine RBIs in six games as the Dominican Republic reached the semifinals.
The 37-year-old considered himself "50/50" on the decision Thursday but said he hopes to play in the second round regardless.
"If they still need me," Beltre said. "I wish I had more time to prepare myself and be ready and make a smart, reasonable decision, because if I decide not to go right now, it might be too early to say because I would probably be ready for it. If I decide to go, I could be rushing it a little bit because obviously I don't want to jeopardize the season either."
Beltre has been a reliably durable player for the Rangers, playing in an average of 152 games over the past five seasons. He has a reputation for being an intense competitor who is extremely resistant to a day off, even when his manager would prefer he take one. So he has mixed feelings about the Classic right now.
"It's a difficult situation for me because I know my commitment to this [Rangers] team and I'm proud of being Dominican and I want to help my country win," Beltre said. "So I'm in the middle, and I don't know what to do."
Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com.