Adrian Beltre, along with Shin-Soo Choo, put the Texas Rangers on his back over the final two months of the 2015 season as the Rangers went on a tear to catch the Astros and win the AL West in a surprisingly successful season.
Beltre hit .328 with a .920 OPS from Aug. 1 through the end of the season after missing three weeks in July after he tore a ligament in his thumb. He came back without a rehab assignment and looked like a shell of his former self as he had trouble driving the ball and was pretty much just hitting singles, when he was getting hits period.
Beltre, the consummate tough guy's tough guy, had another MRI a month after his return that showed the ligament detachment and he strongly considered surgery. He ultimately decided to wait until after the season, adjusted his bat grip and went on to rake at the plate.
"It was uncomfortable," Beltre told the Dallas Morning News on Sunday upon arriving at camp. "When we found out that it detached, we talked about it. I just wanted to know if I was going to hurt the team by playing. Everything was left up to me. I feel like I made the right decision."
Beltre had the procedure after the Rangers lost in the ALDS and won't be limited by the thumb this spring. There has even been mutual talk about a possible extension before the season begins, as Beltre is set to become a free agent after the 2016 season. He'll turn 37 years old on April 7.
"He's a unique guy," Daniels told the Morning News. "Most 36-37 year olds, you wouldn't be talking about an extension. You want to be cognizant of the age and that age brings risk, but there are also guys who are out in front of the bell curve. There are exceptions, and he is one."