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Adrian Beltre could make Cactus League debut as soon as Monday

Mar 12, 2011, 1:17 PM EDT

adrian-beltre-rangers AP

Adrian Beltre has made enough progress from his right calf injury that Rangers manager Ron Washington feels he could be able to make his spring debut Monday against the Dodgers, according to Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas.

If it isn’t Monday, it shouldn’t be long. Beltre ran the bases for a fourth straight day this morning and Washington mentioned he was running 4.2 seconds to first base and looked good during some difficult drills with the team’s strength and conditioning coach.

The 31-year-old third baseman feels two weeks of games will be “more than enough” time to get ready for the start of the season.

“I need to get in some games, see some breaking balls, get my timing and see the strike zone,” Beltre said. “Come April 1, you turn on the switch and that’s it.”

Beltre signed a five-year, $80 million contract with the Rangers in January after batting .321/.365/.553 with 28 homers, 102 RBI and a .919 OPS with the Red Sox last season. He’ll be an improvement over Michael Young at third base and his righty bat should fit quite nicely in the middle of the Rangers’ lineup.

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