Can the Texas Rangers Survive Without Adrian Beltre?
By Andrew Webb
The final month of the regular season is here, but it looks like the Texas Rangers will have to play it without one of their star players. Can the Rangers stay in contention without the bat of veteran infielder Adrian Beltre?
On Friday, the Texas Rangers worst fears were confirmed as third baseman Adrian Beltre will hit the disabled list. He has a Grade 2 strain in his left hamstring and will miss at least four weeks minimum.
The best case scenario the Rangers might get Beltre back for the last series of the year. It’s a huge blow for Texas, and could potentially mean the end to their 2017 campaign. The show must go on, but can the Rangers win without Beltre?
As of Sunday the Rangers are 67-68 and four games out of the American League Wild Card. It would be hard to get back in this race with Beltre, but without might be just too much to ask this Rangers squad.
This season Beltre is hitting .315 with 16 home runs and 66 RBI in 80 games. He missed a significant amount of time in the beginning of the season as well. The injury bug has really taken a toll on the 38-year-old veteran slugger.
Manager Jeff Banister said that Joey Gallo will take over as starter at third base. The team also recalled infielder Will Middlebrooks to fill in as backup at third behind Gallo. Will the combo of Gallo and Middlebrooks be enough at third base?
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The Rangers don’t have to worry about Gallo who has been hitting moonshot homers all season long. He currently as 37 home runs, but has 10 errors in just 65 games at third base this season.
The addition of Middlebrooks will help, but won’t likely be the same production as the team would’ve received from Beltre. This season Middlebrooks is hitting .258 with 23 home runs and 64 RBI in 78 games at Triple-A Round Rock.
During parts of five Major League seasons Middlebrooks is hitting .228 and hasn’t finished with a batting average above .230 since 2013. It’s hard to imagine Middlebrooks being anything more than a backup player at this point.
That means Gallo will be asked to carry a heavy load on offense. The Rangers were getting a lot of production from Beltre, and now that is gone. It will be difficult for Texas to fill that void this late in the season.
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The Rangers will do their best and fight until the end, but it’s hard to have high expectations. The team was falling out of the race with Beltre in the lineup. Now without him it looks like the Rangers will need a miracle to keep their postseason hopes alive.