Beltre progressing, but likely needs 2-3 weeks

May 16th, 2017

ARLINGTON -- was able to run on grass for the first time in a month on Tuesday as he continues to make progress from a strained right calf muscle.

Beltre said he is slowly improving, but it seems like he is still two to three weeks away from being able to return.

"There is no date yet," Beltre said after doing some light running in the outfield at Globe Life Park. "There is a little improvement. We are on the right track, slowly."

Beltre has been on the disabled list since the beginning of the season. The Rangers were hoping for his return within one to two weeks of Opening Day, but Beltre aggravated the injury trying to get back too quickly.

The Rangers are trying to keep that from happening again.

"I want to make sure I get my legs in shape," Beltre said. "So far, the trainers' plan for me is working and I am trying to follow the plan."

Beltre did not go on the Rangers' last road trip, but he's planning to travel with the team to Detroit, Boston and Toronto. At some point, Beltre will need to get at-bats somewhere. He was a combined 1-for-27 during Spring Training between Cactus League games with the Rangers and the World Baseball Classic playing for the Dominican Republic.

The likely scenario is for Beltre, when he is ready, to go to Surprise, Ariz., and get extra at-bats under controlled condition in extended spring camp games.

"I'm excited to see what happens in the next two to three weeks," Beltre said. "So far, it has been good. I want to push it sometimes, but then they remind me what the plan is."

Joey Gallo, who has been playing third base in Beltre's absence, went into Tuesday's game vs. the Phillies hitting .195 with a club-leading 12 home runs and 27 RBIs. He also has a .313 on-base percentage and a .537 slugging percentage.

"He has been great," Beltre said. "What has impressed me the most is the way he has played defense. It has been unbelievable."