8/6/2014 2:07 A.M. ET
First base remains a revolving door
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- When Mike Carp started at first base on Monday night, he became the 10th player to start at the position for the Rangers this season. No other fielding position has had more than six starters for the Rangers.
It's a diverse group scattered to the wind. Prince Fielder (neck) and Mitch Moreland (foot) are out for the season, Chris Gimenez is on paternity leave, Donnie Murphy at Triple-A Louisville (with the Reds organization), Carlos Pena is at Triple-A Round Rock and Brad Snyder is in Korea.
Jim Adduci is playing the outfield, leaving Carp and J.P. Arencibia to man the position. But manager Ron Washington wanted to get as many right-handed hitters in the lineup against left-hander John Danks on Tuesday, so Arencibia was used at designated hitter and Adam Rosales made his third start at first base.
All combined the Rangers' first basemen have a .302 on-base percentage and a .365 slugging percentage. That combines for a .667 OPS that would be the second lowest combined for Rangers first basemen in the past 41 years. The lowest was .654 in 2010 when the Rangers used the combination of Moreland, Chris Davis, Justin Smoak, Jorge Canto, Ryan Garko and Joaquin Arias at the position.
Beltre leads club through a trying season
CHICAGO -- Many of the Rangers on the active roster have something to play for in the final two months of the season. They are fighting for jobs at the Major League level, both for now and the future.
Not Adrian Beltre. The Rangers' All-Star third baseman is signed through at least next season and there is no doubt where he stands. He just needs to get through a trying season.
"I'm doing OK," Beltre said. "I'm doing the best I can. Obviously the situation is not comfortable for anybody, especially knowing in Spring Training we didn't imagine we would be in this situation with all this losing.
"You just have to stay positive and believe something good will come of it and we'll start playing better. Play the next 50 games on a positive note and finish the season strong."
Beltre is the clear leader in the Rangers' clubhouse. Manager Ron Washington said Beltre is fulfilling that role as expected.
"I don't think Beltre ever quit at anything," Washington said. "You hope you are able to lead when things aren't going in the right direction. You have to lead no matter what. When you go through rough times, that's when you really have to lead. Beltre is a leader."
Beltre still has a chance for at least one significant personal accomplishment. He went into Tuesday's game hitting .323, which was fourth best in the American League. Astros second baseman Jose Altuve led with a .339 average, so a batting title is still in play for Beltre.
But winning matters the most and that has been the tough part to deal with for Beltre.
"I'm trying to find a way to maintain any way I can," Beltre said. "I have a job to do every day and I have to find a way to stay positive and keep the young kids positive. These young kids are learning and there are so many things you don't want to fall into. You don't want to get used to losing. We are trying to find any way we can to finish on a strong note.
"We have a lot of young guys in their first time in the Majors and I know they look up to me so I have to stay positive … Let them know that even though we haven't played well the last seven weeks, we can still play better and finish on a high note."
Smolinski not ready, but Soto close
CHICAGO -- The Rangers did not expect outfielder Jake Smolinski to be out long when he fouled a pitch off his left foot on July 21. The original diagnosis was just a bad bruise. But Smolinski is actually dealing with a cracked bone and is not coming off the disabled list when he is eligible on Wednesday.
Instead he is still in Arlington doing treatment and rehab, and is limited in his baseball activities.
"He'll need more time," Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "He's making progress but we want to make sure he's not in harm's way."
Catcher Geovany Soto, who is also on the disabled list with a strained right groin muscle, is also eligible to be activated on Wednesday. But the Rangers will wait until Friday when they play in Houston. Soto is currently on medical rehab assignment at Triple-A Round Rock.
Soto is 5-for-12 with a home run in five games. The last step is for him to catch nine innings and then he'll be ready to be activated.
The Rangers are also expecting Chris Gimenez to return from paternity leave on Thursday. That's two catchers they have to activate and they don't have room for both unless they option either outfielder Daniel Robertson or Jim Adduci back to Triple-A.
"We have a few decisions on the horizon," Levine said.
• This is the first time the Rangers have had two rain-shortened games in one season since 1992. The Rangers had two that year as well and lost both.
• Rangers relievers, going into Tuesday, have gone 44 consecutive games without a relief victory. That's the longest such streak for them since 1984. They haven't had a relief victory since back-to-back wins by Shawn Tolleson and Neal Cotts on June 13-14.
• Elvis Andrus has four hitting streaks of 10 or more games this season. He is the only Major League player to have done that this year.
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.