Adrian Beltre was placed on the 15-day disabled list yesterday with a strained left quadriceps muscle, but that doesn’t mean that he has to like it. In fact, he’s leaving little doubt about that.
According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Beltre said today that he didn’t agree with the team’s decision to place on him on the disabled list:
“I felt I could manage it,” said Beltre, who has dealt with numerous hamstring strains, but never a quad injury. “But this is a different injury than I’m used to. There was nothing I could say because the decision was already made.
“Over the course of last year, I was to the point of going on the DL, but I ended up playing 161 games,” Beltre said. “It didn’t sit well with me, but they probably have more information than I do. They want to be more cautious than I probably do.”
Beltre is a competitive guy, so you wouldn’t expect him to say anything different. But that’s why the decision isn’t up to him. Given his age and injury history, there’s no need to risk making things worse. The 35-year-old was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain, the least severe, so he could be ready to return on April 27 against the Mariners if all goes well.
Kevin Kouzmanoff is expected to function as the regular third baseman for Texas during his absence.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.