Gold Glove third baseman Adrian Beltre is in the lineup tonight against the Dodgers, but he won’t play again until after undergoing surgery to remove bone chips from his left shoulder.
Just when hasn’t been decided, but within the next week Beltre will have surgery that will likely keep him out of the Seattle Mariners lineup 4-8 weeks.
“We’ve been bracing for this for awhile,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “It creates a dilemma, but it creates an opportunity, too.”
Asked if itt were one play that pushed the decision on him, Beltre shook his head.
Beltre said trying to play through the pain hasn’t been working.
Medical tests show a large spur in Beltre’s lefrt – non-throwing shoulder – and nothing short of surgery will repair it.
Russell Branyan has played third base in the past, and moving him would let the team slide Mike Carp into the lineup at first base. That said, it’s unlikely that will happen.
Branyan is playing well enough at first to handle his own – moving him to third, where he’s less effective, wouldn’t help Seattle’s infield defense.
More likely, Jose Lopez will move from second base to third, and Ronny Cedeno and Chris Woodward can play second base.
Beltre, 30, is in the last year of his contract, and the surgery means he’s virtually untradeable before or at the July 31 deadline. In 71 games this season, Beltre is batting .260 with five home runs and 30 RBI.
“I’ve never been 100 per cent since surgery last year to fix this,” Beltre said. “They said there was a small chance the spur would grow back. My luck, I was one of those whose spur came back – and it’s bigger than last year. It hurts more.”
If Beltre has the surgery in the next week he likely would be able to return in August or early September.
“It’s tough to lose Endy Chavez, then Adrian,” Zduriencik said. “I wish I had 25 Adrian Beltres. He’s a tough guy, he wants to be part of what we’re doing here. After tonight, we’ll talk to the doctor and schedule the surgery.”