SEATTLE - Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre might reconsider not wearing a protective cup.
Beltre was put on the 15-day disabled list with a severely bruised testicle Thursday, one day after taking a hard one-hopper off the bat of Chicago’s Alexei Ramirez to his groin area in the ninth inning.
Beltre remained in the game and singled in the 14th inning, scoring the winning run in a 1-0 Seattle victory.
Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said the Gold Glove infielder is out indefinitely, and could need surgery because of bleeding in a testicle.
Beltre was walking stiffly with his legs far apart on Thursday before the Mariners hosted the New York Yankees. He was due to see a specialist, who will decide if surgery is needed.
“They don’t want him doing anything, just sitting and resting and icing,” Wakamatsu said of trainers.
“They say if it’s a major surgery it could be at least a month, maybe more, so there’s a chance of that. ... It’s healing already, it’s just a matter of whether they’re going to have to go in and fix it surgically. We’ll know shortly.”
Seattle selected infielder Josh Wilson from Triple-A Tacoma to replace Beltre on the roster. Jack Hannahan, one of those who filled in when Beltre was on the DL from June 30-Aug. 4 after surgery on his left shoulder, started at third base Thursday.
The Mariners were also without shortstop Jack Wilson on Thursday. He pulled his left hamstring during Wednesday’s win over Chicago.
Josh Wilson, who played four games for Seattle earlier this season, started at shortstop against the Yankees.
Wakamatsu said Jack Wilson has a grade one tear on the upper hamstring where it attaches to bone. He will miss at least a few days, and the Mariners are discussing whether to put him on the disabled list, too.
“We’re pretty limited on the left side of our diamond,” Wakamatsu said.
Beltre does not wear a protective cup because he says it’s uncomfortable.
“I hear that a lot, that I’m crazy, stupid,” Beltre said in spring training 2008. “They might be right. There is some stupidity to it.”
He’s been hit at or near the area with batted balls before, but not ones hit as hard or as squarely to the groin area as Ramirez’s drive.
“I think sometimes you think your hands are so good that it can never happen to me,” Wakamatsu said. “I guess the word is that it doesn’t matter how good you are, that one chance is not worth taking.”
After fielding the grounder in the ninth inning, Beltre rushed a throw wide of first base for an error.
“Most guys would have been on the ground for an hour,” Wakamatsu said, not laughing.
Beltre is one of the few known to go cup-less at the position known as the “hot corner.”
“He’s crazy,” former San Diego pitcher Jake Peavy said last year, shaking his head.
Peavy, who was recently traded to the White Sox, doesn’t wear one either.
Beltre said he never wore a cup while playing on fields full of holes and rocks in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The only time he’s ever worn one was in 1996, in his first days as a 17-year-old Class-A player for the Los Angeles Dodgers. And that was only because the Dodgers briefly tried fining him for not wearing one.
“I probably would have paid my whole paycheck to not wear it,” he said last year, adding — not with a knock but a pound on wood — that he has yet to have a ball strike him where it would hurt most. Until Wednesday.
After a few fines, the Dodgers stopped because they saw no matter the cost, Beltre was not going to wear a cup.
“It’s the discomfort of using it,” he said. “I can’t play wearing it.”
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