ANAHEIM — When AL manager Joe Girardi was asked about Adrian Beltre’s availability for the All-Star Game, he didn’t hesitate. He said, “He was replaced by Michael Young.”
So, of course, I asked Beltre about it when I arrived at his table during the media session for the AL players. This, apparently, was news to Beltre.
“Already?” he said. “Who replaced me? And why did they replace me?”
Asked how his hamstring feels, he said, “Good enough to play, I think. Nobody told me I was getting replaced. Who makes this decision?”
Beltre hasn’t yet been replaced on the roster. Rangers third baseman Young is not in Anaheim, and has not been told to come to Anaheim. For now, Beltre is on the roster, until he decides that he can’t play. Beltre will head to Angel Stadium later on this afternoon to stretch and run, testing his hamstring to see if he will be healthy enough to play.
Beltre did say that he was expecting to undergo an MRI Thursday.
“I don’t know about the communication,” Beltre’s agent Scott Boras said. “I just know that obviously this is Adrian’s decision. If he wants to, right now he feels he’s going to play. If he gets out there and there’s something that’s complicating this any further, then he would let them know. Obviously I think he’s going to manage this conservatively. But as he feels today, he feels like he can go play.”
Boras said that Beltre’s availability had been communicated to the league office.
“I don’t know how it was miscommunicated to Joe [Girardi],” said Phyllis Merhige, senior vice president for club relations for Major League Baseball. “Adrian had told us yesterday that he would see how he felt today and let me know.
“We’re going to see. He still wants to see how he feels. He can’t, standing here, tell whether he’s good. We’ve expressed to him that we don’t want him to hurt himself any further. He’s welcome to play. It’s up to him, really.”
Merhige did say that if Beltre determines that he cannot play, Young would be his replacement. There was a very late replacement at last year’s All-Star Game, with Chone Figgins arriving about an hour or two before game time, so MLB could get Young here at the last minute if that is required.
“I told them that I don’t know exactly how I’m going to answer this right now,” Beltre said. “I need to go out there and practice and do baseball stuff to find out. For now, I’m good to play, at least I’m good to be on the active list. I might not play anyway. We’ve got three third basemen.
“I’m going to go practice today. I’m going to take ground balls. I’m going to do some running, some hitting. If it feels fine I’m going to play. If I feel like I shouldn’t be playing, I’m going to say, you know what, I can’t play.”
Beltre did add that the most important thing is playing for the Red Sox in the second half, so he’s not going to risk that to play in the All-Star Game.
UPDATE: After taking BP on the field at Angel Stadium, Beltre said that he felt fine and would be ready to go Tuesday night in the All-Star Game.