Josh Hamilton could very well get an off day Wednesday after playing in five straight games for the first time since coming off the disabled list in late June. The scenario would be difficult for Texas Rangers’ manager Jeff Banister to pass up.
The Rangers don’t play Thursday, so Hamilton would get two days off while missing only one game and he won’t have to play on tired legs in a day game following the night game the Rangers played Tuesday.
If Hamilton has a say, though, he will be in the lineup for the finale of a three-game series against Colorado. The outfielder feels as if he is about to find the rhythm he has been missing, and he wants to keep going until he hits his stride.
“I feel like if I have days off now, it hurts me at this time coming back and starting to play every day,” Hamilton said. “I’m more stiff the next day. If I felt like I needed it, I would probably let him know.”
Hamilton said that he is close to being where he wants to be after missing spring training and rushing to get off the disabled list after his trade to the Rangers. The All-Star break helped his left hamstring heal more, though he still lacks the extra gear.
It was missing on a second-inning gapper Monday that turned from a double into a triple when he couldn’t cut it off before it reached the wall in right-center field.
“I’m just trying to continue to stay below that threshold,” he said. “I’m going to keep playing like I am and keep working on my swing. I’m going to keep taking more swings because the more swings I take, the better I feel.
“Today I told myself, ‘Your body is starting to acclimate, so it’s time for you to start doing your normal routine.’ “
Banister understands the importance of Hamilton finding his rhythm but seemed inclined to give him the day off. The goal all along has been to do what it takes to keep Hamilton on the active roster for the rest of the season.
“Being a day game tomorrow, I’m sure that he’ll quite possibly get two days off,” Banister said.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760