UPDATE: Change of plans, as Beltre apparently talked manager Ron Washington into letting him be the Rangers’ designated hitter tonight.
Adrian Beltre is not in the Rangers’ lineup tonight after leaving last night’s game with a shoulder injury, but the good news is that an MRI exam showed no structural damage.
Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports that Beltre could be available off the bench, so Rangers fans can probably stop holding their breath now.
By combining his usual excellent defense with an OPS around .900 for the third straight season Beltre is once again one of the best, most underrated all-around players in the league. He’s hitting .318 with 32 homers and 92 RBIs in 138 games and should win his fourth Gold Glove award this year.
Mike Olt would normally fill in for Beltre, but because he’s also banged up Ian Kinsler saw his first career action at third base yesterday.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.