UPDATE: Third baseman Matt Tuiasosopo has rejoined the Tacoma Rainiers and is in the line-up tonight in Las Vegas. So that's some good news for Tui as he returns from having bone spurs removed from his elbow.
Don't be misled by the title. Yes, Adrian Beltre is back with the team. But he's still not close to returning to the field. But he's rejoined the team and plans to stay with it while he continues rehabbing and working out as he recovers from surgery on his left shoulder to remove bone spurs.
"It feels better than I thought it would," Beltre
He even played catch today. But because it still pains him to raise his arm, the person playing catch has to deliver the ball low.
Beltre still doesn't have very good range of motion in the shoulder so raising the arm and moving it out in front of him are pretty painful.
Still, the shoulder has progressed to the point where he hopes to be fielding ground balls by some time next week and swinging the bat in two weeks.
"It depends on how I feel," he said.
When asked if it was ahead of schedule, he said he didn't know and he has no target date for a return.
"It's too early, I still don't have a lot of motions that I can do yet and there is some pain in there," he said. "Until the pain goes away and the range of motion comes back, I will pretty sure I will be able to come back quick, but there is some movements that I can't do without pain. And I don't want to rush it."
Beltre had surgery June 30th, and the prognosis was a six to eight week absence. So mid August might be the earliest we could see him.
As for the surgery it was pretty standard, but Beltre said that Dr. Lewis Yocum was surprised by the amount of scar tissue in his shoulder. It was that scar tissue that was right up against the bursa sac and causing the pain and inflammation.
"There was no room between the bursa sac and bone spur," he said. "They said that's what caused the pain, there was no room for the bursa sac to move."
Still, doctors told Beltre the surgery went well.
"The surgery is supposed to be so I can be pain-free," he said. "Who knows? You never know with surgeries. As long as I can do everything baseball-wise, offensively and defensively, without major pain I'll be all right. Sometimes surgery takes a little longer than six weeks or a year to get better. Sometimes it takes a lot longer, and you have to play through it.
He also watched every Mariners game on television.
"I watched all the games," "I saw all of them, didn't miss a beat. I saw the Gutierrez homer. I'm proud of him. He went through some struggles at the beginning, but his swing looks so nice. He was really big the last two weeks. Hopefully he can stay like that. He was really the guy, the last couple of weeks, that's been the big hitter."
So the next question had to be what it was like watching the games on TV like Mariners fans do.
"Sometimes as a fan, you get a little mad at some plays," he said. "You're a fan, you're not really there. Sometimes I had to get up and walk away a couple of innings and then come back."
As for Mariners' fans seeing Beltre again this season. He didn't hesitate to say yes.
"No doubt," he said. "That's why I did it this year, because I'm pretty sure I'm going to be back. Hopefully, it will be 100 percent, and I'll be able to help the team, because our team is doing really good now. We have a really good chance to win the west. The race is really close, and it's wide open That's what made my decision tougher. I know our team is winning, playing good, and we have a really good chance to get really hot the last 2 ½ months of the season, and who knows what will happen."
LHP Garrett Olson (3-2, 4.42 ERA)
Grady Sizemore CF
Asdrubal Cabrera SS
Shin-Soo Choo RF
Victor Martinez 1B
Travis Hafner DH
Jhonny Peralta 3B
Ben Francisco LF
Jamey Carroll 2B
Kelly Shoppach C
LHP Cliff Lee (4-3, 3.47 ERA)