Josh Hamilton hasn’t yet resigned himself to be just a role player the rest of the regular season.
The Texas Rangers outfielder, who was activated from the disabled list before Tuesday’s game, accepts his temporary role as a pinch hitter. In fact, he’s grateful for the chance to continue working on his sore left knee, which has left him unable to run without considerable pain the past three weeks.
“I know I can make an impact pinch hitting, but at the same time I can be more a bigger impact if I had four at-bats in a game,” said Hamilton, who has played in just 38 games because of multiple leg injuries since joining the Rangers on April 27. “I haven’t flipped that switch yet to say OK, this is going to be my role. Probably over the next week I’ll continue to try to figure some things out with the knee.”
He’s hoping that before the regular season comes to a close, he’ll prove to himself and to the Rangers that he deserves to be on the 25-man playoff roster if the team earns a postseason berth.
“Coming off the DL and with the September call-ups, I’m just having the approach of impacting the game some way, with the mindset of continuing to strengthen the knee and get treatment and hopefully turn the corner at some point,” he said.
If he’s used to pinch hit, Hamilton said he’d assess the game situation as to whether he’d try over-extending his knee in the event he hit a ball in the gap.
“I told them I’d give them what I got. If it’s going to be a close play I’m going to shut it down,” he said.
Gallo, call-ups arrive
Joey Gallo, along with outfielder Drew Stubbs and pitchers Luke Jackson and Ross Ohlendorf, was called up from Triple A Round Rock before Tuesday’s game. Gallo, Ohlendorf and Jackson are back with the Rangers for the second time this season. Stubbs, who signed a minor league contract August 24 after being designated for assignment by the Rockies, grew up in Atlanta, Texas, and attended the University of Texas.
“For me, being a Texas kid, getting a chance to play close to home, and on top of that be in a playoff race, it’s kind of best of both worlds at the end of the year,” Stubbs said. “I’m happy to be here and hope to contribute down the stretch. I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of a few years of meaningful September and there’s really nothing like it. Hopefully we can get into October.”
Claudio on DL; Mendez DFA’d
Left-hander Alex Claudio was recalled from Round Rock and placed on the 60-day disabled list with a left groin strain. Right-hander Roman Mendez was designated for assignment. Both moves were required to open up spots on the Rangers’ 40-man roster.
The Rangers are sending seven players, including infielder Jurickson Profar to the Arizona Fall League. They’ll play for the Surprise Saguaros at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Ariz., because of construction at the Surprise Recreation Complex. The others are right-handed pitchers John Fasola, Adam Parks and Sam Wolff, left-hander Ryne Slack and outfielders Lewis Brinson and Ryan Rua.
Also, High Desert hitting coach Bobby Rose will serve as the team’s hitting coach.