Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre has struggled since returning from the disabled list a month ago and he admitted to reporters today that his left thumb injury isn’t getting better.
Beltre suffered a sprained left thumb on a slide into second base on May 31. The 36-year-old made a surprise return three weeks later on June 23 without going on a minor league rehab assignment. Clearly the injury has hampered his production, as he’s batting .250 with one home run and a .618 OPS over 21 games since returning to action. That’s not the Beltre we’re used to seeing.
The Rangers currently sit at 43-48 on the year and aren’t looking like contenders, so it will be interesting to see if Beltre eventually decides to shut things down and turn his focus to 2016. However, he’ll try to make the best of the situation for now.
Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that Adrian Beltre’s house was broken into last week. Among the things taken: his 2011 AL championship ring and tickets to a suite at Globe Life Park.
The theft of the tickets mildly amused Beltre, who said “I’d like to see them show up there.” By the same token, I’d like to see someone try to fence an AL championship ring that is quite obviously Adrian Beltre’s. But whoever said crooks were smart? Stick to taking TVs and stuff, you guys. They’re way lighter than they used to be.
Josh Hamilton is back from the disabled list and to make room for his return to the active roster the Rangers have demoted top prospect Joey Gallo to Triple-A.
Hamilton played just seven games for the Rangers before hurting his hamstring, which knocked him out for four weeks. He hit well in that brief showing, coming back from shoulder surgery, drug and alcohol relapses, and a trade from the Angels to hit .273 with two homers and a 1.021 OPS.
Oh, and this is fun: Hamilton and the Rangers play the Angels this weekend.
Gallo was initially called up to replace the injured Adrian Beltre at third base and then shifted to left field when Beltre returned. He started out hot and then went into a slump, hitting .218 with five homers and a .754 OPS in 25 games. His batting average was ugly and as expected Gallo struck out a ton, but a 21-year-old posting a .754 OPS in his first taste of the majors is plenty impressive. His power potential is unmatched and he’ll be back in the second half.
In the meantime, Gallo has the second-most strikeouts in MLB history through any hitter’s first 25 career games:
Javier Baez 46
Joey Gallo 43
Giancarlo Stanton 41
George Springer 39
Brett Jackson 39
Interesting lineup note for the Rangers today, as rookie Joey Gallo is starting in center field against the Blue Jays. Let’s just say that he doesn’t have much in the way of experience at the position…
Gallo has appeared in 13 games in left field this season between the majors and the minors, but otherwise he has exclusively played third base. However, he’s getting the nod over the struggling Leonys Martin in center field this afternoon.
Adrian Beltre returned from his thumb injury this week and the Rangers are close to getting Josh Hamilton and Delino DeShields, Jr. back from the disabled list, so Gallo could be headed down to the minors soon. The 21-year-old is batting .224/.306/.461 with five home runs and 10 RBI over his first 22 games in the majors. He has struck out in 42.4 percent of his plate appearances.
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.