Beltre struggling, not using thumb as excuse

Beltre struggling, not using thumb as excuse

ARLINGTON -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre gave a succinct assessment about the condition of his left thumb.

"It's good enough to play," Beltre said.

Beltre's numbers since coming off the disabled list might suggest otherwise. Beltre, batting in the cleanup spot, was 0-for-4 in a 4-2 loss to the D-backs on Tuesday night and is now 11-for-56 in 14 games since coming off the DL two weeks ago. He has two doubles and three RBIs in that period.

Beltre's right-handed bat is also 5-for-22 against left-handers, and those are the pitchers that are troubling the Rangers right now.

"I want to produce," Beltre said. "Am I producing? No. It's not a secret. It doesn't matter if there is a left-hander or a right-hander, every time I go up there, I expect to do my job and help the team win."

Beltre went on the disabled list June 1 with a sprained left thumb. He was activated on June 23 even though the thumb was not fully healed. He had taken just two days of full batting practice and did not go on a medical rehab assignment. The Rangers acknowledged that Beltre was not 100 percent but felt he could play through the pain and the discomfort.

"He's battled through some things and found something he liked that gave him some relief [in his swing]," manager Jeff Banister said. "He made some hard outs. He had some hits in a game in Baltimore and had some hits in Toronto."

Beltre came to bat in the first inning on Tuesday night against D-backs left-hander Robbie Ray with two outs and Prince Fielder on first. Beltre hit a fly ball to deep center that made the souvenir hunters start scrambling on the grass expecting a home run.

But center fielder A.J. Pollock caught it on the warning track to end the inning.

"I hit it good enough. ... Obviously it didn't go far enough," Beltre said.

Frustrated?

"I don't get frustrated," Beltre said. "It's baseball. You've got to come back and do it again tomorrow."

The All-Star break is a week away. Beltre might be able to benefit from that break more than any other Ranger besides Josh Hamilton.

"The last 10 days, I have hit the ball hard," Beltre said. "Just not consistently."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.