Adrian Beltre the latest star to hit shelf 

April, 14, 2014

A second member of the top 10 in ESPN average live drafts has hit the disabled list, as Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw has company in Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre. However, while Beltre was placed on the DL Sunday, it’s likely he could return before Kershaw, who hasn’t played in three weeks. In the case of Kershaw, the best pitcher in the game, his ailing back will be given plenty of time to heal. With Beltre, now the best third baseman since Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera moved to first base, his strained quad is not viewed as a serious problem, and an April return seems likely.

In other words, there are injuries fantasy owners might want to panic about, but Beltre’s doesn’t seem to be one of them. He was injured Tuesday in a game in which he singled, doubled and knocked in two runs, and he was deemed day-to-day after that. Beltre, who missed a total of seven games the past two seasons combined, sat out the entire weekend series with the Houston Astros, making his DL stint retroactive to April 9. I think one reason the Rangers feel comfortable without him for the short term is because they really seem to like replacement Kevin Kouzmanoff. It’s been only a few days, but Kouzmanoff, a 32-year-old journeyman whose last big league at-bat came in 2011, impressed in spring training (1.035 OPS) and has hit for modest power in the past. It might seem like he’s getting only a fortnight to prove himself, but who knows for sure? He could stick around if he hits. It’s not like David Ortiz is handling the team’s designated hitting duties, after all.