Another piece of the puzzle of trying to keep Josh Hamilton healthy the rest of the season fell in place Wednesday when the 2010 American League MVP was kept out of the Texas Rangers’ starting lineup one day after his first game off the disabled list.
The day off was scheduled before Hamilton was reinstated Tuesday. Manager Jeff Banister said that more days off could be coming as the Rangers try to get Hamilton through the short term as he rebuilds strength and stamina in his left hamstring.
“For me, it’s about the long term,” Banister said. “If there is anything I can do to help keep Josh Hamilton in the lineup … when he needs a day off of his legs, get him off his legs.”
The left-handed-hitting Leonys Martin started in center field and the right-handed-hitting Ryan Rua was in left field against Baltimore left-hander Wei-Yen Chen.
Hamilton insisted that his hamstring was not injured on his sliding catch in the seventh inning Tuesday or as he tagged up and went to third base in the fifth inning on a flyball to center field.
Hamilton said that he is OK with listening when others think he should get a day off.
“I already knew I had the day off Monday,” he said. “It’s going to be up to Skip and the trainers. I already missed enough time this year. I want to be there for the second-half push.”
Hamilton collected two singles and scored a run Tuesday in his first game since May 31. His parents, Tony and Linda, watched him in person for the first time since 2008 after a years-long period of strained communication.
Hamilton said that his parents have been very supportive as he goes through a divorce, which was finalized recently.
“It’s been important,” he said. “It’s been a tough time for me and my little ones. My parents have always been there. Even though communication has been distant at times, they always told me they’re there for me if I need them.”
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760