Josh Hamilton had played six straight games, stuffed himself into an airplane seat for a round trip to Cleveland, and twice gone above the norm to meeting the media’s demands.
All of that came after bouncing around the minor leagues for a month and essentially not having a spring training.
Hamilton could have used a day off, and he got one Sunday.
The outfielder sat for the finale of the Texas Rangers’ four-game series against the Boston Red Sox. Hamilton finished his first week of the 2015 season batting .238 (5 for 21) with two homers, three RBIs, four walks and some noticeable fatigue.
“The plan really was to go along as he felt and what he could do in each game,” manager Jeff Banister said. “You could tell it had been six days.”
Hamilton might have played Sunday had it not been for the Rangers’ scheduled off day Monday. Banister couldn’t pass on the chance to get Hamilton two days off while missing only one game, and that was the key element in his decision to sit the 2010 American League MVP.
Hamilton became the latest regular to get a day off, joining shortstop Elvis Andrus, designated hitter Mitch Moreland and right fielder Shin-Soo Choo. Days off are also coming for third baseman Adrian Beltre and designated hitter Prince Fielder.
Each has played in all 51 Rangers games with only a handful off innings off for Beltre.
“They’ve got a day off tomorrow,” Banister said.
Fielder has been mostly at DH, which helps get him off his feet, but he is also the AL leaders in batting average and hits while ranking third in total bases.
“He’s been on the bases a ton, and he runs hard when he’s on the bases,” Banister said. “He still works hard on his defense in pregame. You’re not out playing defense, but the energy that this guy puts into his day, I can’t believe that he’s more tired playing defense than DH-ing.”
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760