Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz to play for Dominican Republic in World Baseball Classic

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According to Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest, Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre said today that he plans to play for his native Dominican Republic in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. He’ll be joined by his teammate Nelson Cruz.

Beltre was limited down the stretch last season due to an abdominal injury, but didn’t require offseason surgery and anticipates playing if he’s healthy.

“It’s too early yet because you go through spring training and an injury can hold you back a little bit,” said Beltre, who hit .300 in the 2006 WBC. “Of course if I don’t feel 100 percent healthy to be in the WBC I’m not going to force it. I’m not going to jeopardize what I’m trying to do here with this team to play the WBC. If everything goes well and I’m healthy I think I’m going to play.”

Cruz played in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, but Beltre, then a member of the Mariners, didn’t participate coming off shoulder and thumb surgeries.

The entire roster for the Dominican Republic hasn’t been announced, but Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano and Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes are also expected to be on the squad.

B.J. Upton is going by B.J. Upton again

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Outfielder B.J. Upton went by the name B.J., short for Bossman Junior, through the 2014 season. His father Manny was known as Bossman, hence Bossman Junior. Upton decided he wanted to be referred to by his birth name Melvin starting in 2015, saying that everyone except baseball fans knew him by that name. Now, he’s back to B.J., Scott Boeck of USA TODAY Sports reports.

For those keeping score at home, Upton is the artist formerly and currently known as B.J.

Upton, 34, hasn’t played in the majors since 2016. He signed a minor league deal with the Indians in December 2017 but was released in the middle of last March and wasn’t able to latch on with another team. It seems unlikely he finds his way back to the majors.