E. Beltre sidelined by shin splints

E. Beltre sidelined by shin splints

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Outfielder Engel Beltre is out of options, meaning he has to make the Rangers out of Spring Training or be exposed to outright waivers. Now he is dealing with shin splints and was unable to play in the Cactus League game on Friday for the second straight day.

Beltre was 4-for-13 in five games before his shins started bothering him a few days ago.

"It's the first time it's ever happened to me," Beltre said. "I guess it could happen to anybody. I just have to relax and get healthy."

Beltre is still taking batting practice and doing some defensive work, but he is limited in his running. He is listed as day to day but is in competition with Michael Choice and Jim Adduci for at least the fourth outfield spot. Bryan Petersen and Brad Snyder are also in the mix. Choice is the only right-handed hitter in the group and went into Friday's game against the Dodgers with six hits in 16 at-bats.

Beltre played in 22 games for the Rangers last season and was 10-for-40 at the plate. He played in 94 games at Triple-A Round Rock and hit .292 with seven home runs, 34 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. He had a .340 on-base percentage and a .398 slugging percentage. Now he has to deal with shin splints.

"The fact that he is still able to hit and field means we don't view this as serious," assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "But we wanted to be cautious."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.