Adrian Beltre departs game vs. Indians with strained left shoulder, will undergo MRI

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Some potentially awful news here for the Rangers.

According to Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, third baseman Adrian Beltre was lifted in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Indians after feeling  discomfort in his left shoulder following a stellar defensive play at the hot corner in the second.

Beltre dove hard to his left on a sharply-stuck grounder from Cleveland batter Russ Canzler, then completed an impressive throw across the diamond to get the out. He remained in the game for the next couple frames but the discomfort only grew and he was eventually replaced by youngster Mike Olt.

Beltre is undergoing an MRI, the results of which probably won’t be available until Thursday morning.

The 33-year-old has a .318/.355/.561 batting line, 32 homers and 92 RBI in 138 games this season. His replacement, Olt, entered play Wednesday with just four hits in 37 major-league plate appearances.

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UPDATE, 10:35 PM: And now Olt has left the game with an apparent foot injury, reports Durrett. Ian Kinsler is at third base and Jurickson Profar entered to play second.

Sandy Koufax to be honored with statue at Dodger Stadium

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.

Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.

Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.

Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign  on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.