Adrian Beltre admits his thumb isn’t getting better

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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.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).