Beltre could be back during road trip

Beltre could be back during road trip

SEATTLE -- Turns out Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre is a fast healer.

The news concerning his recovery from June 29 shoulder surgery already was good, but Beltre continued to progress ahead of schedule by taking batting practice at Safeco Field on Monday and Tuesday, clubbing balls into the upper deck and looking as if he'd never missed a beat.

Initial reports after surgery suggested Beltre would miss at least six to eight weeks, but Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu didn't rule out the possibility that Beltre could rejoin the Mariners some time during their seven-game road trip, beginning Thursday in Texas.

"It's as good as I've seen him in a long time," Wakamatsu said. "He says he feels great. Our concern is not to rush it too much and him get activated and have to go right back on [the disabled list]. That's out biggest fear, so I think we [are] going to do this for a couple days, and we'll see down in Texas. We talked about possibly activating him in Kansas City. If everything goes well, we'll look at that."

Beltre hasn't played since June 28. His bat would give a boost to the Mariners' struggling lineup. Beltre, who was hitting .259 with five home runs and 31 RBIs, was swinging a hot bat before the surgery.

Wakamatsu said he doesn't foresee Beltre needing a rehab stint.

"The way he's swinging right now, I would probably say no," Wakamatsu said. "We'll probably try to simulate something if we can. If we can't, maybe increase the amount of batting practice just to see how he feels after that. He looked efficient. He looked strong. He didn't look like he was favoring anything."

Christian Caple is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.