The disabled list, once again, has drawn a crowd of quality Texas Rangers players, but unlike last season, it appears as if most of those ailing will be back at full strength sooner than later.
The first to return should be left fielder Ryan Rua, who could be activated this weekend as a right-handed bat against three left-handed Chicago White Sox starting pitchers. His right foot and ankle are holding up on his rehab assignment with Triple A Round Rock, and his bat has started to come around.
The numbers aren’t there, but the things that will lead to him being a productive player are getting there.
“He really swung the bat very well last night, with the hands back in play on the swing,” manager Jeff Banister said. “He’s close. If he’s ready, he might be an option for us. I want the kid to be right. I don’t want him to have a setback or us push him too quick.
Josh Hamilton could begin a rehab assignment next week as he continues to recover ahead of schedule from a strained left hamstring.
The left fielder, who was injured May 31 while delivering a walk-off double in only his seventh game of the season, worked out the past two days with Round Rock and will continue his rehab in the Metroplex this week.
He will be evaluated Sunday after a workout with Double A Frisco and could begin a short rehab assignment soon thereafter.
If he were to start rehabbing Monday at Frisco, he could play behind Martin Perez. The left-hander, who is dealing with a slight groin strain while coming back from Tommy John surgery, will throw a bullpen session today and will be cleared to rehab Monday if all goes well.
Fellow lefty Matt Harrison will make his fourth rehab start Friday for Round Rock as he continues his comeback from major back surgery. He might need two more starts before he is activated.
Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf (groin) threw a simulated game Tuesday in Arizona without any issues.
“The next step would be to get him to the point where he could throw in a game,” Banister said.
But not all news is good news on the injury front, starting with third baseman Adrian Beltre. He still can’t swing a bat with his sprained left thumb, even though the stitches have been removed.
Beltre is throwing daily and has started catching ball with his glove hand, but he doesn’t know when he will be able to return.
“I’ve tried every day,” Beltre said. “It’s not as close as I want it. I’m not happy, but what can I do, get a disposable thumb?”
The latest MRI on the shoulder of fellow lefty Derek Holland again showed improvement, so much so that he will begin a two-week throwing program. But the Rangers will continue to play it safe, and he won’t be allowed off a mound until another MRI after he finishes the throwing program.
The best-case timeline for Holland to return is early August.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760