Josh Hamilton said that he could be back in the Texas Rangers’ lineup sooner than expected if he can continue to build upon the two at-bats he had late Tuesday night for Triple A Round Rock.
Hamilton went 1 for 2 with a two-run single in the eighth inning of an 11-1 win. He batted only twice after a late start because of wet field conditions and the Rangers’ desire to have him get at-bats as the designated hitter. They also wanted Mitch Moreland to get DH at-bats, so Moreland went first because he was going to drive to Arlington to be activated from the disabled list Wednesday.
The extra time didn’t clear his mind of the adjustment he made before the game with a focus of keeping his weight back and not lunging at pitches. He flied out to right field in his first at-bat before grounding a single into right in the eighth.
“Tonight I was able to stay back and do what I wanted to do,” Hamilton said. “It felt good.”
It must have, because Hamilton believed that if he can continue with the adjustment, it could accelerate his rehab timeline. Round Rock is scheduled for three more games this week at Dell Diamond, though rain could play a role in that, before heading to Colorado Springs for a weekend series.
The Rangers’ tentatively are planning to activate Hamilton ahead of their game Tuesday at Boston. If he feels locked in and sees improved performance the next few days, he speculated that the Colorado Springs trip might not be necessary.
“If they [at-bats] go like they did tonight, maybe the end of the week,” he said.