Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre hopes to make opener despite calf injury

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Texas Rangers are unsure whether third baseman Adrian Beltre will be in their lineup or on the disabled list Monday when they open the season against Cleveland.

Beltre has been dealing with a left calf strain and has not played since Sunday. The Rangers are delaying their final roster moves until the Sunday deadline.

"My mindset is to start the season playing until otherwise told something different," Beltre said Wednesday before the Rangers and Kansas City Royals played to a 0-0 tie.

"Obviously, you don't want to go into the season hurt. I don't mind the discomfort. I just don't want to blow it up. I know that if I start the season, I won't be 100 percent. That's for sure.

"Hopefully it calms down and I can play a game or two before the season starts and be OK playing those games. Obviously, I'm going to have to nurse it [the] first two or three weeks until I'm 100 percent."

An MRI on Monday revealed a minor strain. It is not the same calf he strained just before reporting.

If the Rangers opt to put Beltre on the 10-day disabled list to give him more time to get the calf healthy, he would miss only five games. They could backdate it three days from the start of the season on Sunday, and with a day off April 6, Beltre could return as early as April 9.

"We don't have to make any decisions until Sunday," assistant general manager Mike Daly said.

"Adrian knows himself. It's amazing the type of ailments he's been able to play through during his career. We still have time with Adrian to discuss what's best for him and for us."

Beltre went 0-for-12 in eight games with the Rangers. He is 1-for-28 counting his games with the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

If Beltre is placed on the DL, Joey Gallo could be the Opening Day third baseman.

Manager Jeff Banister said it would be "prudent" to carry a fourth bench player because of Beltre's status.

"We still are in the assessment process with Adrian, so we can't make any real roster decisions or finalize anything until we know exactly where we're at," Banister said.

Game notes
Dillon Gee, who is competing for the final spot on the Texas pitching staff, turned in an impressive six innings. He did not allow a hit until two outs in the fifth. He struck out nine, walked none and allowed two singles. ... LHP Danny Duffy, who will be the Royals' Opening Day starter Monday at Minnesota, gave up three hits in four innings, striking out two. He was aided by two ground-ball double plays in the first two innings and retired the final eight batters he faced. ... OF Shin-Soo Choo was scratched from the Rangers' lineup with a dental issue. ... The Rangers optioned RHP Nick Martinez to Triple-A Round Rock.