The Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is likely headed to the Disabled List with a left hamstring injury. Here’s what it means for the team.
The Texas Rangers are reporting that Adrian Beltre suffered a left hamstring strain in last night’s game. Beltre came up limping on his way to first base after a two-out hit. Although the MRI is scheduled for later today, chances are that this means a DL stint for the Rangers star third baseman. The severity is not fully known but the communication from the Rangers is the same language used when Rougned Odor went down with a strained left hamstring earlier in the season.
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For the team, this is another injury in a devastating string to open up the season. Delino DeShields was the first core player to go down suffering a broken bone in his hand in the opening series of the season for which he had to have surgery. Starter, Doug Fister and second baseman, Rougned Odor both hit the DL two weeks ago with separate lower body injuries. Then the biggest blow came when Elvis Andrus was hit by a pitch and suffered a broken elbow that sent him to the Disabled List for the first time in his career. The Rangers currently have sent 13 different players to the DL this season for a combined 261 days according to Sportrac, tops in the league by a wide margin.
With Beltre likely to miss some time, what does this mean for the Texas lineup. Probably the solution Rangers fans would most like to see is the long awaited call up of top prospect, Willie Calhoun. Calhoun who has spent time in Triple-A refining his defensive skills is a highly touted prospect in the Rangers organization. If the 23-year old does get the call-up it likely will mean Joey Gallo moving to third base which was his original position and Calhoun taking over in left field. If that is the case, Texas would be starting an infield completely different than their opening day lineup. Here’s a look at a possible order for the Rangers in that scenario.
CF Delino DeShields
DH Shin-Soo Choo
RF Nomar Mazara
3B Joey Gallo
SS Jurickson Profar
LF Willie Calhoun
C Robinson Chirinos
1B Ronald Guzman
2B Isiah Kiner-Falefa
The tough part of this lineup is that it’s now even more lefty heavy. With five lefties (Choo, Mazara, Gallo, Calhoun and Guzman) it makes it tough on Jeff Banister to break them up in the order. Likely if this is the corresponding move, Banister will regularly shuffle the lineup to face left-handed pitching trying to limit lefty on lefty matchups.
Matching Beltre’s production will also prove a difficult task. Beltre was hitting .310 through 24 games which was best on the team. Through 19 games at Triple-A Round Rock, Calhoun is hitting just .243 with 16 strikeouts. Calhoun admits that the low numbers could mostly be blamed on a poor mindset after starting the season in the minors. Still, the contrast is startling and for a struggling team, losing your best offensive producer is a crippling blow.