Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington started Adrian Beltre at designated hitter Tuesday to give his third baseman an opportunity to rest his legs. Unfortunately, Washington's best laid plans went awry. Beltre had to leave the game after five innings with tightness in his left quadriceps.
Beltre was having a great game before he had to be lifted for a pinch hitter, going 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI. He broke out of a mini-slump, entering Tuesday's game on a 2-for-17 slide. Beltre dealt with the same problem in spring training, and missed a week's worth of games to give it time to heal. Beltre has had leg issues in the past, and is in his age-35 season, so this is something that could linger without the proper attention now.
At the same time, the Rangers were drubbing the Red Sox 9-1 at the time Beltre exited. It's certainly possible Washington didn't want to press his luck, but there may be something more sinister happening here. Incidentally, the next game Beltre plays at third base will push him past Mike Schmidt for the fifth-most games every played at the position. It's a safe bet he won't be passing the Hall of Famer for some time. Josh Wilson started at third Tuesday, and would likely man the position in Beltre's stead.