This season, my biggest fear is Adrian Beltre playing the "I just signed a big deal, now I'll disappear" game. In his two big contract years, 2004 and 2010, he had career years. In '04, he hit 48 homers and drove in 121 while hitting .334. He then signed a big contract with Seattle and failed to hit anywhere near those numbers. In '10, he hit 28 homeruns and drove in 102 while hitting .321. Those are the only two years in his career that he has over 100 RBIs or better than a .300 AVG. I'll cut him a bit of slack for 2009, a season that saw him only play in 111 games. He only hit 8 homeruns that year.
"The original diagnosis was that Beltre would be sidelined for 10 to 14 games, meaning he would make his debut in a game sometime next week. That does not appear to be the case. Beltre is not limited to the swimming pool -- he is still able to swing the bat and take batting practice. He is throwing as well. He is just not able to take ground balls at third base or do any running. Beltre, who signed a six-year, $96 million contract with the Rangers in the offseason, originally injured the calf muscle working out on a treadmill at his home in Los Angeles just before coming to Spring Training. He began camp doing just about everything, but aggravated the injury in early workouts. An MRI showed a Grade 1 strain. That is considered the mildest of three possible grades. If this were the regular season, Beltre said he could play. Since this is Spring Training, he hasn't played and isn't likely to do so for awhile. "
I think it's good reason to be concerned about what the Rangers get from "post-contract year" Beltre. The Rangers are paying good money for the Gold Glove winner from 2008 and 2009 and need the 30+ HR, 110+RBI, .300+AVG to go along with the defense.
But hey, who's worried.
Me. That's who.