ARLINGTON -- On Thursday, the Rangers will welcome Adrian Beltre back into their lineup for the first time since he went on the 15-day disabled list July 23 with a strained left hamstring.
Beltre, who was in Arlington for Wednesday's game but was not activated, will start at third base on Thursday. Michael Young will return to designated hitter duties, but manager Ron Washington said he expects to use Beltre at DH more than he had before the injury just to protect the hamstring.
"Once every now and then," Washington said. "I'm going to monitor his playing at third base. I need him for the rest of this year. I would say this last month he'll probably get more DH time than he got all year. I don't know how many games that's going to be, but you'll probably see him at DH a little bit more."
While Beltre was out, catchers Yorvit Torrealba and Mike Napoli split duties at designated hitter while Young played third base. Once Beltre returns, Washington said it is unlikely that Napoli and Torrealba play in the same lineup.
"The only way I see that is if Napoli's playing first," Washington said.
That may be an option against left-handers to give regular first baseman Mitch Moreland a rest. He is batting .235 with a .284 slugging percentage against lefties this season.
"When I play Napoli at first base, there's a chance Mitch gets that day off," Washington said. "I've got outfielders. Of the outfielders I got, none of them will be hurt, I hope. When I play Napoli at first, it will be because a lefty is throwing and I've got other guys that play outfield."
The Rangers will also welcome utility infielder Andres Blanco on Thursday, as he will be returning from a lower back inflammation that put him on the disabled list on Aug. 9.