ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's difficult to fully quantify what losing Adrian Beltre to an injury -- no matter how long -- might mean to the Rangers. But we'll give it a try.
Beltre strained his left hamstring and will have an MRI today to see about the severity. But the way Beltre was moving and talking Friday after the game, a disabled list stay seems probable (we'll know more after the MRI). That would mean he's out at least 15 days. Chris Davis was taken out of the Triple-A Round Rock game shortly after Beltre hurt himself running to third base and is ready to replace him on the roster. Michael Young, who played third base for two seasons before Beltre was signed, said he's ready to play third if asked.
But losing a player of Beltre's caliber in the field and at the cleanup spot creates a gaping hole. He leads the club with 76 RBIs, the most for any AL third baseman this season and second to Boston's Adrian Gonzalez (80) for the major league lead. Put another way, that's 16 percent of the club's RBIs for the season. He has 20 of the club's 123 home runs, second behind only Nelson Cruz. His 49 extra-base hits lead the team.
In the field, no one in the American League has more chances than Beltre with 273 before Friday's game. The next closest was Alberto Callaspo at 234, 39 chances behind. That shows Beltre's range in getting to balls that most third baseman don't. Not surprisingly, he's tops in putouts and assists, too. He does have 11 errors, but a player that gets to so many balls will have errors.
Perhaps the best measurement of Beltre's worth is Wins Above Replacement or WAR. Basically, it looks at the wins a player adds above what a "replacement level" player would do. ESPN Stats & Information (shout out Joshua Kritz) tells me that Beltre had a value of 3.6 entering Friday's game, the second-highest on the club behind Ian Kinsler (4.5 entering Friday). To put that in a little perspective, the Rangers are three games up on the Angels. So three-plus wins certainly matters.