Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre could start the season on the disabled list, according to Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Beltre was not cleared to play during the Rangers-Royals exhibition game on Saturday and his status remains questionable as he continues to rehab a calf injury. He’ll be reevaluated after his workout on Saturday.
The injury has kept Beltre sidelined through much of the spring. He initially sustained a Grade 1 strain in his left calf muscle toward the beginning of camp, but was able to recover in time to compete with Team Dominica during the World Baseball Classic. Upon his return to Cactus League play in late March, he aggravated his right calf muscle and has yet to return to the field.
Should the veteran infielder start the season on the disabled list, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News points out that the Rangers can backdate his time on the DL so that he can rejoin the team as early as April 9. In the meantime, Joey Gallo and Jurickson Profar give the Rangers two viable third base options. No official decision has been announced by the club yet.
You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.
Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.
Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.
Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.