Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre doesn’t seem to believe his latest hamstring injury is a particularly significant one, but nevertheless says it is impacting his thinking as he weighs whether to play another season. As Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes, Beltre emphasized that the hammy troubles have been with him for his entire career. But, he said, the latest tweak “brings the question of, ’Is this going to keep happening more often? Is it worth it to fight it back? Is it a sign that maybe it’s time to get close to say goodbye to you guys?'” While the remark certainly could be read as a suggestion that Beltre is preparing for the end of his playing career, it also clearly indicates he’s still pondering a continuation.
Here’s more from out west …
- It appears that Dodgers righty Kenta Maeda is not exactly thrilled with the team’s decision to utilize him as a reliever. As Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times wrote recently, Maeda artfully avoided any direct criticism of the move, but also declined to offer any indication that he is truly amenable to pitching from the pen. That’s understandable, given that he carries a 3.85 ERA in 110 innings on the season and certainly seems worthy of a MLB rotation spot. It probably doesn’t help that his incentive-heavy contract pays more if he racks up innings, though Maeda also tells Hernandez that the money isn’t an issue for him. While it isn’t hard to see why this is a disappointing development for the 30-year-old, it’s also understandable for a club that has six other starters with even better earned run averages and also has experienced significant bullpen issues of late.
- Despite those recent struggles in the relief corps, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman tells Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times that he remains bullish on the pen’s outlook. With some hurlers expected to return from health issues — none more important than closer Kenley Jansen — the organization seemingly thinks it has enough pieces on hand to get things done. Indeed, Friedman even says he anticipates that the relief unit “will be a strength” down the stretch. That, per Friedman, is why the club set “a high bar for what [it was] looking to acquire” at the trade deadline. When nothing sufficiently intriguing came together, says the club’s top baseball exec, the decision was made to focus instead on boosting the ability to score runs. It certainly does not sound as if the Dodgers are particularly inclined to pursue further reliever acquisitions in August, though perhaps that still cannot be ruled out either.
- The Padres gambled in this past winter’s Rule 5 Draft by leaving slugger Franmil Reyes unprotected, writes MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell, and the towering outfielder is now forcing himself into the team’s long-term plans. Reyes acknowledges that he was “disappointed” to be left off the 40-man roster, though Cassavell reports that there was some strategy involved in that roll of the dice; Reyes underwent minor surgery on his hand not long before the deadline to set 40-man rosters in advance of the Rule 5, and the Padres felt it would lessen the chances of him being taken. That proved to be the case, and while Reyes’ overall .278 OBP is an eyesore, he’s demonstrated prodigious power and cut back on his strikeouts (admittedly, in a tiny sample) since returning from the minors — though he has also encountered a particularly dry spell of late. Between Reyes, Franchy Cordero, Manuel Margot, Wil Myers, Hunter Renfroe and Travis Jankowski (among others), the Friars’ front office will have some decisions to make this winter.