As the crowd of a dozen cameras, reporters, and microphones surrounded him at his locker, Adrian Beltre spoke softly, at times too softly to hear, and broke the news to us himself: the MRI on his hamstring, strained in Thursday’s game against the Astros, had revealed a Grade Two strain.
He is expected to miss four weeks, likely ending his 2017 season.
“I’m disappointed. I feel like I let the team down; we were playing better, playing meaningful games, getting close to the wild card, and ...and then this happens," he said.
The star third baseman left Thursday’s game against the Astros when his back stiffened up on a defensive play in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Beltre, 38, missed nearly two months at the beginning of the season with a strain in his calf muscle, returning on May 29th. Between then and Thursday, in just 80 games, he had accumulated 16 home runs, 66 RBI, and batted .315. Projecting that out to a full 162-game season isn’t hard; Beltre was having one of the best years of his life, statistically speaking.
In addition, he got his 3,000th hit on July 31st, a milestone that neither he nor Ranger fans will soon forget. He was also named the team’s Player of the Month for a second consecutive month in August.
But Beltre’s disappointment at the time missed clouds all of that. “It probably has to be one of my worst seasons,” he said softly. “I haven’t played less than 100 games since my rookie year.”
He does hope to play in the postseason, should the Rangers get a Wild-Card berth without him. Texas was four games out of the race, with three teams between them and the second Wild Card spot.
The Rangers play their final regular season game Oct. 1.
"They say it's going to be 4 weeks, but I'm a quick healer." -- Adrian Beltre pic.twitter.com/CA4rwhlyyS— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) September 1, 2017