Josh Hamilton returned to the 15-day disabled list Thursday after soreness in his left knee didn’t improve with four days out of the Texas Rangers’ lineup.
The move is retroactive to Aug. 16 and allowed outfielder Will Venable to join the 25-man roster.
The early thought is that Hamilton’s knee will be good enough for the September stretch run. The knee is structurally sound, but a bone bruise developed from compensating for hamstring and groin injuries after a cram session to get ready for the season.
Hamilton had played only two of the Rangers’ past eight games. He was on the disabled list recovering from shoulder surgery when acquired in April from the Angels, and he went back on the DL in June with a hamstring strain.
“I can really focus on it to get better faster or at least to a point where I can go out there and be OK,” Hamilton said. “We’re all crossing our fingers that I’ll come in in two or three days and it’s, like, 80 percent better.
“I’ve had two arthroscopic surgeries on it during my career, and the way I came back into the game this year was not normal. I really feel like that had a lot to do with it, but I can’t do anything about it. All I can do is do what they tell me and give them feedback on how I’m feeling.”
Hamilton has played in only 38 games, batting .254 (36 for 142) with six homers and 21 RBIs. Venable jumped into the starting lineup Thursday at Comerica Park, playing left field.
The left-handed hitter was a platoon player in San Diego, which traded him to the Rangers on Tuesday for minor-league outfielder/catcher Marcus Greene and a player to be named.
A source said that right-hander Jon Edwards, from Keller, will be that player. Currently in Triple A Round Rock, Edwards is on trade waivers, will head to the Padres once he clears, and in the process will free up a 40-man spot for the Rangers.
Venable was surprised to be dealt after the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but is excited to be in a playoff hunt. The Rangers entered Thursday four games out in the American League West but only one game out of the second wild card.
“I’m doing great. I’m very excited and ready to go,” Venable said. “They said be ready to play, which is easy for me. That’s what I’m here to do. I don’t think we need to have a detailed conversation about that. I think I’m versatile in that I’m willing and able to do whatever is asked of me, whether that’s starting in the outfield and any three of those sports or come off the bench.”