American League manager Ron Washington officially announced Justin Verlander as his starter at today’s press and also revealed his lineup, which features Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter leading off, Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton batting third, and Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista cleaning up:
1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Robinson Cano, 2B
3. Josh Hamilton, LF
4. Jose Bautista, RF
5. Prince Fielder, 1B
6. Adrian Beltre, 3B
7. David Ortiz, DH
8. Mike Napoli, C
9. Curtis Granderson, CF
Washington also managed the AL team in last year’s All-Star game and batted Bautista cleanup then too, although he had Curtis Granderson leading off instead of batting ninth, Hamilton hitting fifth instead of third, and Robinson Cano hitting eighth instead of second.
See David Ortiz reenact “Fever Pitch” and “Good Will Hunting”
Adrian Beltre has been on the disabled list all year because of nagging right calf strain, but he’s about to take a big step toward getting back to action.
Beltre has been cleared to begin playing in extended spring training games. He’ll commence them tomorrow at the Rangers facility in Surprise, Arizona. After three games the team’s doctors will reevaluate him. If things go well, he’ll likely be sent off for a full minor league rehab assignment.
Joey Gallo has filled in for Beltre all season, bringing a lot of power but not much else to the table. While Beltre is 38, his all-around game would be welcomed back on the field and his leadership would be welcomed back in the Rangers clubhouse. On a personal note, Beltre is only 58 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.
Barring a setback, he’ll be back with the big club in early June and will hit the milestone eventually.