CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 31: Adrian Beltre #29 celebrates in the dugout after scoring on a single by David Murphy #7 of the Texas Rangers during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive on August 31, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Adrian Beltre isn't expendable for the Texas Rangers, especially the new-look Rangers, but they might have to play some games without their gold glove third baseman and arguably best hitter after he left Saturday's game with a what has been called a minor hamstring strain.
The word "minor" was music to everyone's ears as it means Beltre could avoid a trip to the disabled list and just rest for a few days, as he did in Sunday's series finale and will on Monday's off-day before the Rangers hit a stretch of 20 games in 20 days.
Beltre's left hamstring has been a constant source of concern for the Rangers since Beltre arrived for the 2011 season. That year, he missed 37 games after going on the DL with an injury to the left hammy and last season he missed a handful games but avoided a trip to the DL. The Rangers hope that's the case this time around, but they'll take every step to be careful with their all-star. Don't be surprised to see him miss the series in Boston this week, although Rangers manager Ron Washington hasn't ruled out that he could return to the Rangers' lineup on Wednesday in Boston.
The key here is to not rush Beltre back. It's way too early in the season to be messing with something as nagging as a hamstring injury can be.