The Texas Rangers are going to play the waiting game with Adrian Beltre and his balky left quadriceps muscle for a few more days.
An MRI Thursday revealed a Grade 1 strain of his left quad. Beltre hurt himself in Tuesday’s game in Boston.
Texas plans to wait and see how Beltre’s quad responds over the next few days before making a decision about whether or not a disabled list move will be needed.
The wait on Beltre means that right-hander Colby Lewis will not start Saturday against Houston. Texas will wait until Monday or Tuesday before putting Lewis in the rotation. That allows the Rangers to go with a four-man rotation until a fifth starter is needed and gives them more roster flexibility with Beltre.
"It was not as severe as the concern was originally," general manager Jon Daniels said of the Beltre MRI. "We’re going to play it conservatively and give it a few days. We’ve got some flexibility with our roster now with Colby set to join the rotation. Until we activate him we’ve got that extra spot. That will give us some time for Adrian to see how he’s feeling and for our medical staff to evaluate him."
The Rangers plan to use Yu Darvish, Tanner Scheppers and Martin Perez for the three-game series against Houston. Either Lewis or Robbie Ross will start Monday against Seattle with the other going in Tuesday’s game.
Daniels said one of the main reasons the Rangers aren’t opting for a DL move now is because Beltre is used to dealing with nagging injuries, mainly his hamstrings.
"If it was a hamstring which Adrian has far too much experience with I think it would be a greater comfort zone that he could manage it and more accurately the medical staff and Adrian could jointly manage it along with Wash (manager Ron Washington)," Daniels said. "The quad is a little bit of new territory for him. My expectation of knowing him is a few days into the weekend he’s going to say he’s OK and we’re going to have to determine if he really is."
Lewis, who has an out in his contract that would allow him to become a free agent, has talked to Washington and pitching coach Mike Maddux about the decision to push his return to the rotation back a few days. Lewis hasn’t pitched in the majors since the summer of 2012. Since then he’s undergone surgery for a torn flexor tendon as well as hip resurfacing surgery.
Daniels is breathing a little easier with the Beltre news but wants to wait until his cleanup hitter is back in the lineup before he completely exhales.
"It’s better than it being more severe," Daniels said. "Any time you lose a guy even for a little bit of a period of time, when you’ve got one of your best players somewhat compromised, it’s not a great