Beltre’s injury repeated and if history follows…watch out

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Wait right there, partner. Don’t tell me you actually thought Adrian Perez Beltre was destined for a trip to the disabled list due to a little ‘ole “tweaked” hamstring…did you?

Since making his major league debut June 24, 1998 at the tender age of 19 years, 78 days Beltre has landed on the DL just six times. By age 25, the poster boy of single knee moonshots appeared in over 800 MLB games.

Yet you still thought that at 37 years, 80 days of age that a mild left hamstring suffered in a loss to the Astros on June 8th was going to cause him to sit out 15-plus games?

Nope. He just needed a full week.

Since 2002, Beltre has appeared in 143 games or more an astounding 12 times.

He played in all but one game in 2013, missed three in 2002, sat out four in 2003, contemplated life during six from 2004-06 and again in 2012, and watched seven games from the pine in 2010.

The low watermark of 143 games played has happened twice; once in 2008 with Seattle and again last season with Texas. Excluding 2016, as it’s still TBD, Beltre has played in 146.4 games per season since joining the Rangers in 2012.

Taking the feat one step further, during those 12 years of 143 games or more Beltre has missed a total of 105 games, or roughly 8.75 games per season.

Beltre’s most recent injury snapped his 151-consecutive games streak, which was the 4th longest active streak the majors. The non-DL stint also broke his personal streak of appearing in every game while on the Rangers’ active roster since missing two games, June 2 and 4, 2013, with a hamstring injury.

It’s no Cal Ripken or Lou Gehrig-esque run, but it’ll do.

For a guy who is quite vocal about his disdain with riding the pine for any amount of time, what degree of injury actually lands Beltre on the DL?

Well….

2001 – Appendectomy aftermath

To be clear, it was not an appendectomy that landed the future hall-of-fame third baseman on the DL in 2001. The time on the oak came after complications arose from an off-season surgery.

Either way, Beltre missed 36 games. He struggled finding his rhythm after his return, posting one of the worst offensive slash lines of his career: .265/.310/.411.

This was one season removed from a .275/.352/.428 line with 15 HR and 18 SB during his second MLB season.

He did play in every game after his return from the DL, all 126-straight games and career games 368-493.

2009 – Crowded jewels

Beltre was hampered during his 2009 campaign in Seattle by a heaping handful of injuries throughout the season. All of which culminated in an August 12th kick, or bad hop rather, to the junk.

“Given that Beltre was one of the few major league infielders who refused to wear a cup, this was even more uncomfortable, so bad that he was placed on the DL after suffering bleeding from one of his testicles,” Grantland’s Jonah Keri wrote. “Credit Ken Griffey Jr. for having the public address operator play the waltz from The Nutcracker as Beltre’s walk-up music in his first game back from the DL.”

Beltre took the hotshot to the groin in the seventh inning. Despite the injury, he manned up with an injured manhood to score the winning run in the 14th inning.

“It hurt pretty bad,” said Beltre after the game. “It was hurting me pretty much the whole game after that.”

When he was then asked about his “bravery” for finishing the game with one squished berry, Beltre responded with, “I don’t know about brave. Maybe stupid.”

He returned Sept. 1 and played in 28 of the final 29 games that season.

2011 – The one

Beltre missed the first two weeks of spring training after he suffered a Grade I right calf strain Feb. 25.

That wasn’t the most significant muscle mishap.

That occurred July 22.

As you can see, Beltre pulls up gimp a few paces short of third base after a Michael Young single with the Rangers leading the Blue Jays 6-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The left hamstring strain, as it was later identified, held Beltre out of action until Sept. 1 during a season in which he collected an his second-straight All Star nod, third Gold Glove and second-consecutive Silver Slugger award. He slashed .296/.331/.561 with 32 HR while driving in 105 runs. The RBI total is highest since signing with Texas despite appearing in just 124 games, his fewest during the span.

The September 1st return was game No. 138. He played 19 straight, missed No. 158, and then appeared in all 17 postseason games.

This DL stint was the first of any major time missed due to a hamstring injury for Beltre. It’s because of this single play that Ranger fans cringe when he legs out a single or attempts to score from second on a single into short right field.

2012 – No DL, but it’s back

Beltre suffered a strained left hamstring in the second inning of a 10-4 win over Detroit on April 21. There wasn’t any extensive time missed, but the words “left” and “hamstring” were again associated. He finished third in MVP voting.

2013 – Nag, nag, nag, just like my girlfriend

Despite an aggravated left hamstring for the better part of his age 34 season, Beltre still appeared in 161 games during the regular season.

After attempting to steal second base in the sixth inning, only to not receive credit for the swiped bag thanks to an A.J. Pierzynski single. Beltre told Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram following the September 29th win that the hamstring was “good enough.”

“I was going too fast, that’s what happened,” he said. “Nothing new. Same old injury.”

2014 – Something new

Beltre was placed on the DL April 14th with a strained left quadriceps muscle. The move was retroactive to April 9th, and he returned to the lineup April 25th.

“I did not agree with the decision,” Beltre said at the time of the designation. “Obviously the medical staff and front office thought it was best. […] I have no say over that.”

“But this is a different injury than I’m used to,” he added. “There was nothing I could say because the decision was already made.”

He returned from the injury to slash .326/.387.497 with 19 HR and 73 RBI in 140 games. Beltre also posted a thoroughly impressive .347 BABIP post-injury.

2015 – It’s not technically a finger

Beltre spent 22 days on the DL with a right thumb injury from June 1-23. Although many, including myself, thought he may have rushed back and the lingering effects of a gimp thumb hammered his play defensively, Beltre rubbed a handful of dirt on it and did what he does – play.

Beltre returned to the starting lineup June 23, the day he was activated from the DL and, according to DMN beat-writer Evan Grant, after “only one round of batting practice.”

When asked of the jump from the DL to the hot corner, JD told Grant that Beltre was simply “a freak.”

Beltre posted a .257/.294/.408 slash pre-DL stint, but improved again upon his return to slash .305/.357/.479 in the 95 games after being activated.

2016 – ‘Nothing new. Same old injury.’

TBD. One thing is certain, however. He’s back and, if history is any indicator, the time off his feet will equate to a helluva return.

 

Forth Worth Star-Telegram, DFW Sportsday, Associated Press, ESPN and Grantland were utilized for portions of this article.

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Travis M. Smith
Travis has been a baseball fanatic since birth, and, according to his parents and multiple other reports, at the sophisticated age of three had the near-superheroic ability to regurgitate the statistics of every member of the 1992-93 Texas Rangers . The 2015 Tarleton State graduate dabbled in baseball at the collegiate level before falling into journalism and works full-time as the managing editor of the Glen Rose Reporter.

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