UPDATE: So much for returning Thursday. Kilgore reports that Morse “felt soreness throwing last night” and is now “out indefinitely.”
Assuming that nothing goes wrong when he plays nine innings in left field at Single-A tonight and tomorrow Michael Morse is scheduled to return from the disabled list and rejoin the Nationals’ lineup Thursday.
Morse is actually eligible to return from his lat injury tomorrow, but manager Davey Johnson told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that “I don’t see any sense in rushing him up here” and “I would just as soon him not make the trip, stay there and get treatment, then be ready to go Thursday.”
Kilgore reports that Rick Ankiel is also very close to coming off the disabled list after missing time with a triceps injury, although his role in the Nationals outfield is unclear.
Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he doesn’t expect the club to make a $17.9 million qualifying offer to free agent third baseman Adrián Beltré, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports. Daniels has been in touch with the 39-year-old, who may retire.
Beltré battled hip and hamstring issues throughout the past season, limiting him to 119 games. He hit .273/.328/.434 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI in 481 plate appearances. Going by adjusted OPS, his mark of 98 — 100 is average — was his lowest in a season since 2009 with the Mariners. Beltré’s career average is 116 and he put up a 132 in 2017 and 128 in ’16.
Beltré appears to have some stuff left in the tank. He may not be an All-Star-caliber player anymore, but he can still hit at an average level and he is still an above-average defender. It’s just a matter of his body holding up to allow him to do what he needs to do. If Beltré does decide to re-up with the Rangers for 2019, the club will be prepared to move Isiah Kiner-Falefa or Jurickson Profar over to the hot corner as they did in 2018 in the event Beltré gets bitten by the injury bug.