7/26/2013 7:08 P.M. ET
E. Beltre hopes to impress Rangers with bat
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- The Rangers are desperately looking for more offensive firepower. Engel Beltre wants to show that it could be him providing it.
"Me personally, I think I'm doing good here," Beltre said. "When I get the opportunity, I'm trying to take advantage of it and try and help the team."
Beltre was in the Rangers' lineup on Friday night against the Indians. He was also batting in the No. 2 spot because manager Ron Washington wanted his left-handed bat breaking up the right-handed hitters (Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz) at the top of the lineup. It also kept the bottom of the lineup from being excessively left-handed.
It was Beltre's second start in the last two weeks. He also went into the game with six hits in 19 at-bats since being called up from Triple-A Round Rock.
"He's serviceable ... he's a good player," Washington said. "We trust him. He has been handling himself well. He's played a lot of baseball. When he hasn't played for awhile, he's still able to go out there and do something. That's because he's young but he's played a lot of baseball."
Beltre is here because Lance Berkman is still on the disabled list and not ready to return anytime soon. Berkman, who has inflammation in his left hip and back, did not even make the trip to Cleveland. He remained behind in Arlington to get treatment at Dr. Keith Meister's clinic.
So Beltre is still here, unless the Rangers are able to swing a trade for an outfielder before Wednesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. They continue to pursue White Sox outfielder Alex Rios while monitoring the Giants' situation with Hunter Pence. They have not shown any interest in bringing back Mets outfielder Marlon Byrd.
Beltre not pleased with his performance
CLEVELAND -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is not happy with the way he has performed. He said the problem is not physical even though he deals daily with various leg issues that keep him from running full speed.
"I'm physically good enough to play," Beltre said before Friday's game against the Indians. "I have been feeling the same all year."
Beltre's overall numbers aren't bad. He went into the three-game series with the Indians hitting .308 with 22 home runs and 58 RBIs. But he's not happy that he was hitting .217 with runners in scoring position.
"I'm not contributing the way I should," Beltre said. "The whole team is in a funk not getting the big hit and the big blame is on me. I haven't been good in situational hitting. I'm in the middle of the lineup, I need to be producing more and I haven't been doing that."
Beltre is also not happy with his defense. He went into Friday's game with 11 errors, three more than last year and equal to his total over 112 games in 2011. His range factor of 2.32 chances per nine innings is the lowest of his career. He also had committed an error in two straight games.
"My defense has not been great," Beltre said. "I don't have the answer. I'm missing balls I should get and I've got some errors that I have no excuse for. I'm not playing well."
Rangers manager Ron Washington attributed some of that to Beltre's legs.
"He may be a little slow at third base because of his legs," Washington said. "If you don't get time down you're not going to get totally well. But he still shows up and he's still playing."
Offensively, Washington said Beltre is putting too much pressure on himself, especially with the whole offense struggling.
"I've always put pressure on myself," Beltre said. "I want to be the guy to help my team. When I'm not doing enough, I'm not going to be happy."
Rangers set to face Weaver, Wilson in Halos series
CLEVELAND -- The Rangers are expected to face Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson during their three-game series with the Angels starting Monday at the Ballpark in Arlington. But they are likely to miss Bartolo Colon when they play three games against the Athletics next weekend in Oakland.
Colon is scheduled to pitch on Friday against the Angels, so his next start is expected to be on Wednesday against the Blue Jays. That's the Athletics' last game before playing the Rangers. Colon is being followed in the rotation by Tommy Milone, Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin.
The Angels are expected to pitch Weaver, Wilson and Jerome Williams in the three-game series against the Rangers. Weaver is 13-8 with a 3.75 ERA in 31 career starts against the Rangers. He is tied for the third-most wins against the Rangers by an active pitcher. Colon leads with 19, and Barry Zito has 18.
Wilson and Williams haven't been as effective against the Rangers. Wilson hasn't pitched against the Rangers this season but was 0-2 with a 7.65 ERA in five starts against them last year. Williams has a career 6.68 ERA against the Rangers in one start and 10 relief appearances.
The Rangers have a makeup game with the D-backs on Thursday at the Ballpark. Right now, the D-backs' rotation is set up for left-hander Tyler Skaggs to start that game. Yu Darvish will pitch for the Rangers, meaning he won't face either the Angels or the Athletics in the upcoming series next week. He should face the Angels in Anaheim the following week.
• Kinsler is the Rangers' nominee for the Branch Rickey Award. The award is given by the Denver Rotary Club and goes to a player based on community service. Fans can vote at www.branchrickeyaward.org.
• Adrian Beltre is the Rangers' nominee for the Heart and Hustle Award, presented by the Major League Players Association. He will be honored before Monday's game against the Angels.
• Round Rock outfielder Manny Ramirez went into Friday hitting .250 (15-for-60) with three home runs and nine RBIs, but there are no indications the Rangers are ready to bring him to the Major Leagues. Said Washington: "I haven't heard anything. We have people looking at him, but I haven't gotten the reports. There's nothing to tell."
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.