Beltre says he'll take his chances

SEATTLE -- Adrian Beltre doesn't have a solid answer for the question everyone wants answered: Will he wear a cup in the future?

"I might be lying if I said [I would]," the Seattle Mariners third baseman said on Monday. "I tried it before, it's uncomfortable, I hate it and if it happens every 11 years of my career I'll probably take my chances."

Beltre is on the 15-day disabled list after suffering a severely bruised testicle on Aug. 12 against Chicago when a drive by Alexei Ramirez caught Beltre in the groin area.

The slow recovery from the rare injury is progressing. Beltre took batting practice and did some light fielding in the outfield before Monday's game against Oakland. He saw a doctor earlier in the day and is improving, but there is still swelling of the testicle.

For now, that means Beltre will use the cup that was sitting on a shelf in his locker -- but only to protect the swollen injury. After the injury heals, Beltre is giving no promises. The last time Beltre wore a cup was as a teenager playing in the Dominican Republic.

"I don't know. I never wear one. I tried to wear it because it was mandatory to wear one, but every time you moved it was uncomfortable, ball to a side, you dive on top of it," said Beltre, who still appeared to be experiencing some discomfort as he moved around the field Monday. "I don't know how I'm going to do it."

Beltre was injured in the ninth inning of Seattle's 1-0 win in 14 innings over the White Sox, and it was Beltre scoring the winning run on a single by Ken Griffey Jr.

And Seattle was lucky to still have Beltre in the game.

He was instantly in extreme pain after Ramirez's shot, but still managed to pick up the ball and make a wild throw to first base -- his 11th error of the season. With shortstop Jack Wilson already out of the game after injuring his hamstring, Beltre felt he couldn't pull himself out.

So he hid the seriousness of the injury. At times, Beltre said the pain was unbearable. Fortunately adrenaline kicked in at some points, including when he raced home with the winning run.

"When I did it at first it really hurt and that's when I started thinking ... but then even if I wanted [out] we didn't have an extra infielder," Beltre said.

His return to the field is still uncertain and might not happen this season. Beltre thinks getting some light activity the next few days will be a good test to see where he is in the recovery.

"This might be a good sign ... this is a little more promising," Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said. "We'll see how he reacts."