Jeff Wilson of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram shares the surprising news …
A report from late last week stated that Beltre, who landed on the disabled list June 2 with a sprained left thumb, was still unable to swing a bat. But he’s clearly made swift progress over the last couple of days.
Another mild surprise is that Joey Gallo wasn’t sent back to the minor leagues. Rangers management has clearly changed its mind on the readiness of the 21-year-old top third base prospect, who has tallied five home runs and 10 RBI through his first 18 major league games. Gallo is starting in left field and batting second for Texas on Tuesday night against the Athletics. Beltre will start at third base and hit cleanup.
Rays manager Kevin Cash told Bob Nightengale of USA Today on Tuesday evening that he expects Matt Moore to make his 2015 season debut next week against the Indians. Moore will make one final minor league rehab start on Friday at Triple-A Durham before rejoining the club in Tampa Bay.
Moore underwent Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery last April after tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow in his second start of the 2014 season. The 26-year-old southpaw boasts a strong 3.53 ERA and 8.8 K/9 through 347 career major league innings.
Jane Lee, the Athletics beat reporter for MLB.com, shares the news …
Smolinski was designated for assignment by the Rangers on Friday after batting just .133/.270/.200 in 74 plate appearances. But he showed some promise last season in Texas and he had hit .422 with a 1.280 OPS in 50 plate appearances this season at Triple-A Round Rock. The 26-year-old former second-round pick is a nice depth addition for Oakland. He’s headed to Triple-A Nashville but could be called up soon.
Twins center fielder Byron Buxton stole his first base as a major leaguer on Sunday afternoon …
Buxton had 20 steals in 59 games at Double-A Chattanooga when the Twins promoted him on June 13. The 21-year-old top prospect entered play Sunday with just two hits in 24 major league plate appearances, but he’s already put his impressive defensive skills on display and he is capable of getting hot quickly at the dish.
From beat writer Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times comes word that the Angels have placed right-hander Jered Weaver on the 15-day disabled list with irritation in his left hip. Anaheim won’t need a fifth starter until next week, so the corresponding callup Sunday was outfielder Alfredo Marte.
Weaver has allowed 20 runs — 19 earned — in 26 innings (four starts) this month and he has a 4.75 ERA on the season. The 32-year-old is averaging just 84 mph with his fastball. That pitch averaged 86.3 mph in 2014 and 90.2 mph during his rookie year.
Weaver is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his ailing left hip Monday. There’s some worry that he might have a torn muscle.