Adrian Beltre in Need of the All-Star Break
The MLB All-Star Break is a fun event for all of those involved, from the Home Run Derby to the game itself. Fans across the nation enjoy watching the top players from each team (or just the whole Kansas City Royals lineup) go head to head. Just as important as the game itself is for those players who do not play in the game. The All-Star Break serves as a time for resting and allows anybody who is nursing an injury to get some needed rest missing any games.
One of the players for the Texas Rangers who could use the break is Adrian Beltre. Beltre was out from May 31 to June 23 with a thumb injury and has struggled since he returned. Here is what Beltre told Evan Grant from the Dallas Morning News before he returned:
"“It’s progressing little by little,” Beltre said Sunday. “I have to find a way to swing. I’m searching for a grip that doesn’t hurt. I’m still searching. If it was uncomfortable, I’d be playing, but it’s not uncomfortable, it’s still painful.”"
On the field, the results of his return have shown that same feeling that he described. Without making any rehab starts, Beltre has been trying to figure out his hitting as he goes and has not found much success. Since his return, he has played in seven games and is hitting .241/.233/.276 with zero home runs although he did have a breakout performance yesterday against the Baltimore Orioles. Prior to yesterday’s game, Beltre was 4-for-24 without an extra base hit and drove in just one run. The team as a whole has been struggling lately, winning just three of their last 10 games and are in need of Beltre at his best.
While the Rangers still have to play 10 games before the All-Star Break, they will have two days off next week and will really be able to work on getting this team healthy. They need to take a step back next week and make sure they are taking advantage of extra days off to get this team at full strength for the Houston series starting on July 17.
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Beltre will look to repeat his May performance as he hit .293/.313/.455 and offered a power right-handed bat to this lineup that was leaning too far left when he left. The question of what to do with Joey Gallo did not come up when Beltre returned as Gallo moved into left field but it may return once Josh Hamilton and Delino DeShields Jr. come back and the team looks for a spot for Gallo. If Beltre is struggling, the team may look to start Gallo against right-handed pitchers or even look to see what value Beltre has in the trade market. For now, Gallo has been sent down to Triple-A Round Rock Express with the return of Hamilton tonight.
While Beltre will likely bounce back to his usual self soon, having a few extra days off during the break will allow him to come back even stronger than he is now. He will be able to work on his grip and his swing without any pressure of having to help the team win right away. Overall, this team is in a slump and they all could use some time off to recharge before the second half of the season.