In a surprising decision, the Rangers have activated Adrian Beltre from the disabled list and reinserted him into the cleanup spot, the team announced. Beltre has been on the DL since June 2 with a thumb injury, and as recently as last Thursday, he told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan that he was not even capable of swinging a bat. It would seem unreasonable to expect that Beltre is 100 percent, and Sullivan even tweeted that he’s in “total shock” to see Beltre come off the DL so soon. Asked by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link) about managing expectations for Beltre upon his return, GM Jon Daniels replied by saying, “He’s a freak. Freaky players do freaky things.” Righty Jon Edwards was optioned to Triple-A to clear a roster spot for Beltre, and top prospect Joey Gallo has shifted from third base to left field to accommodate Beltre’s return.
Here’s more from the AL West…
- Earlier this morning, Grant examined some of the obstacles that stand between the Rangers and a potential Hamels trade. For one, he notes, both Chi Chi Gonzalez and Gallo have been so impressive in their big league debuts that they’re likely more untouchable than they were as prospects. (I’ll interject to point out that Gonzalez’s 10-to-12 K/BB ratio is worth at least some concern, though it’s an admittedly small sample.) Beyond that, Hamels’ salary would be difficult to take on without significantly bumping payroll, and candidates with notable salaries that could theoretically be moved to offset the $23.5MM annual sum are currently injured (e.g. Derek Holland, Matt Harrison). Grant also points to the need for a right-handed bat and bullpen reinforcements. The eventual return of Holland, Harrison and Martin Perez may give the Rangers’ rotation the boost it needs, Grant speculates, but there are no such looming upgrades for the ’pen or lineup.
- Daniels told Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he expects to be a buyer next month and spoke about the inconsistency he’s had in his bullpen. “Everyone in that bullpen has done it for periods in the big leagues, but we are inconsistent there,” Daniels told Engel. “There are good arms with plus-stuff, and when they are on, they are good. But that is an area we have been inconsistent.”
- The Astros are getting closer to finalizing agreements with No. 2 overall pick Alex Bregman and No. 37 overall pick Daz Cameron, reports Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. Nothing will be announced in the next day or two, but GM Jeff Luhnow told Drellich he’s hopeful of having a pair of signings to announce during the upcoming homestand, which begins on Thursday. As Drellich notes, Cameron’s signing figures to be the final one, as he will sign well over slot.
- Though the Angels said from the get-go that Tyler Skaggs wouldn’t pitch in 2015 following Tommy John surgery last August, the left-hander tells Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register that he thinks he can help the team this year. Skaggs said he’d be happy to pitch out of the bullpen if there’s no room in the rotation, though clearly whether or not he throws for the big league club in 2015 is not his decision to make. Fletcher writes that it might be more likely that Skaggs will pitch in the instructional league, if he pitches at all this year.