According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Adrian Beltre is day-to-day after leaving this afternoon’s game against the Tigers with a left hamstring strain. Beltre suffered the injury while legging out a double in the top of the second inning.
Beltre missed five weeks with a left hamstring injury last season, so while the early word is that it’s not serious, the Rangers will likely proceed with caution over the next few days. Alberto Gonzalez replaced him in the lineup this afternoon, but Michael Young could fill in at the hot corner in the short-term.
Beltre is off to a strong start at the plate this season, batting .304 (17-for-56) with two homers, four doubles, seven RBI and an .826 OPS over 14 games. The 33-year-old third baseman batted .296/.331/.561 with 32 homers, 105 RBI and an .892 OPS last year.
Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.
Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.
Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.
On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.