7/22/2014 6:40 P.M. ET
Beltre recognized for grit by Rangers alumni
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Third baseman Adrian Beltre has been selected as the Rangers' winner of the 2014 Heart and Hustle Award. The award is selected by a committee of former Rangers, and it honors players who demonstrate a passion for baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game.
"It means a lot," Beltre said. "For the alumni to pick you, it truly is special and humbling. Obviously, we know that things haven't been going our way, but I still have a job to prepare for every day. Sometimes it's not enough, but I can still look at myself in the mirror and know I gave it everything I could that day."
Beltre went into Tuesday's game hitting .328, third best in the American League, with 14 home runs and 53 RBIs.
"It's a tough situation, but you still have to go out and give everything you've got," Beltre said. "You don't want to remember what has happened the last seven weeks. Nobody is happy with the way we've played. It was good to have time off [at the All-Star break] to refresh your mind and do better in the second half. So far, it has been a little better, but we still have a lot more improvement needed."
Soria expects to remain in Texas past July
NEW YORK -- Rangers reliever Joakim Soria's contract contains a partial no-trade clause that lists a number of teams to which he can't be traded by Texas.
Soria just doesn't know which teams are included, and he hasn't bothered to ask his agent. That's how much he's worried about being traded before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"I can't control that, so I don't worry about it," said Soria, who earned his 17th save in Monday night's 4-2 win over the Yankees. "Obviously, people say things and there are rumors, but I don't worry about it too much."
The Rangers are willing to trade Soria, but they're asking for two to three highly regarded prospects in return. The Tigers are among those that have asked about Soria, and other teams are looking for bullpen help.
The Rangers went into Tuesday's game against the Yankees tied for the worst record in the Majors, so it might seem to benefit Soria if he were traded to a contender with a real chance to make the playoffs.
"In a selfish way, maybe," Soria said. "But I like this team and I like my teammates. If they make a decision to do something, it's a business. They are going to do what's best for us, and I'll take it as part of baseball."
Soria spent five years as the Royals' closer before signing with the Rangers. He has never pitched in the playoffs. The closest the right-hander has come to postseason baseball was facing one batter in last year's regular-season tiebreaker game, which the Rangers lost to the Rays.
"Obviously, you always want to be in the playoffs and get to the World Series and be a champion," Soria said. "That's part of our job. Hopefully, one day we'll go there."
Soto returns to DL with strained right groin
NEW YORK -- Rangers catcher Geovany Soto was placed back on the disabled list with a strained right groin muscle on Tuesday after playing in just three games. The club activated Soto on Friday after he missed the entire first half following right knee surgery.
Putting Soto on the DL opened up a spot for pitcher Nick Martinez to start on Tuesday night against the Yankees.
"It's an unfortunate situation," Soto said. "It is what it is. It's really heartbreaking, but I'm just going to try and take it a day at a time. Some things are out of your control. The last three months, I really worked hard on my legs, doing what the trainers asked me to do and more."
Soto injured the muscle while running the bases in the sixth inning of Monday night's 4-2 win over the Yankees. He was hoping that it would be a mild strain, but when he woke up on Tuesday, Soto knew that wasn't going to be the case.
"It was definitely a little stiffer this morning," Soto said. "That's when I knew it was more serious than a tweak; there was a little strain in there."
With Soto out, Robinson Chirinos and Chris Gimenez will go back to sharing catcher duties. J.P. Arencibia is on the active roster, but the Rangers want him to concentrate on first base and hitting. Arencibia will likely catch only in an emergency.
Rangers expect Rios, Smolinski back vs. Yanks
NEW YORK -- Outfielders Alex Rios and Jake Smolinski are both expected to be over their nagging injuries and be available on Wednesday.
Rios was out of the starting lineup on Tuesday for a third straight game because of a sprained right ankle, but he tested it before Tuesday's game and pronounced himself ready to go. Manager Ron Washington wanted to give him an extra day.
"It felt good," Rios said. "I know Wash wanted to give me an extra day, but I'm ready. I expect to be as good as ever."
Smolinski had to come out of Monday's 4-2 win over the Yankees with a bruised left foot after fouling a pitch off it in the sixth inning.
"As of right now, it's nothing to be concerned about," Washington said of Smolinski's injury. "It's just sore where it hit off his foot."
• Class A Spokane clinched a spot in the Northwest League playoffs with a 3-0 win over Everett on Monday night. So far, four of the Rangers' six Minor League teams are guaranteed of reaching the playoffs. The others are Double-A Frisco, Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach and the Arizona Rookie League Rangers.
• Pitcher Jose Ortiz, who has been on the DL since Spring Training due to a broken left foot, is being assigned to Double-A after pitching two scoreless innings over two appearances with the Rookie League Rangers.
• Daniel Robertson made his first start at designated hitter on Tuesday night.
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.