The Rangers will begin the 2017 MLB season without their starting third baseman.
Adrian Beltre, 37, tried to test out his sore right calf muscle Saturday, but was unable to play in the team's final spring training game. Manager Jeff Banister announced after the game that Beltre will begin the season on the disabled list.
"The conditioning of Adrian, in respect to the amount of time he's been on the field, is probably not where he wants it to be to endure [everyday] play,"Banister said, via the Dallas Morning News."He's had 18 years of experience in this game, he's got incredible amount of toughness and he knows his body better than anybody."
After lackluster power numbers in 2014 and 2015, Beltre returned to his dangerous form last season, when he hit .300 with 32 home runs and 100 RBIs.
Joey Gallo, 23, will start at third base while Beltre rests. Gallo has long been one of Texas' top prospects, but has failed to take advantage of his MLB opportunities each of the last two seasons.
Gallo will likely head to triple-A once Beltre returns. Yet, if he plays well, he could remain on the Rangers' roster to compete for time at first base or designated hitter. Those two spots are currently occupied by Mike Napoli and Shin-Soo Choo.