NEW YORK Josh Hamilton will be activated from the 15-day disabled list Monday and begin his second chapter with the Texas Rangers.
The Rangers made the decision late Saturday after his rehab game at Triple A Round Rock was rained out. He finished his rehab stint, which started May 10, 16 for 44 with one home run and five doubles over 12 games between Round Rock (7 for 28) and Double A Frisco (9 for 16).
“Josh is physically and game-ready to get started,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “The team is playing well, and we’re looking forward to welcoming him to the club this week.”
Hamilton will join a lineup that has scored 25 runs the past two games. He will play left field, which will force the Rangers to get creative to find ways to get Delino DeShields into the lineup.
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The Rangers acquired Hamilton on April 27 in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels, who became disgruntled with Hamilton after two poor seasons and an admission to relapsing with cocaine while recovering from a Feb. 4 shoulder operation.
The Angels are paying the majority of the $83 million left on his contract. The Rangers are paying Hamilton between $2 million and $3 million a year.
His second Rangers chapter will begin Monday.
“I’m excited about it,” Hamilton said. “It’s been a little bit of a process from surgery to now. It’s good to work hard and get back and get healthy and mentally ready.”
Holland to begin throwing
Left-hander Derek Holland will begin a throwing program late this week but will need to have a clean MRI exam three weeks later before being cleared to throw off a mound.
Originally expected back by the All-Star break after being injured April 10, Holland might not rejoin the Texas Rangers’ rotation until closer to Aug. 1.
Holland underwent an MRI on Friday on his shoulder, and the subscapularis muscle continues to show improvement. The Rangers want to give him a few more days early in the week before he throws for the first time.
“I’m just glad I get to play catch again,” Holland said.
Fellow lefty Matt Harrison could beat Holland back to the rotation. He scattered three singles and tossed four scoreless innings Saturday in his third start at extended spring training, striking out five and using 62 pitches.
He said that his velocity sat at 86-88 mph, but he sustained it throughout. In his last start, he hit 90 in the first inning but experienced a drop-off.
The Rangers might ask him to make one more start in Arizona on Thursday before sending him to Double A Frisco.
“The velocity will come when it comes,” Harrison said. “I wanted to maintain my velocity, which I did. I think my stuff was sharper than it had been in a long time.”
Taking the Field
Over his first nine games at Triple A Round Rock, Rougned Odor looked like the Rangers were expecting he would this season.
He had three homers, four doubles and a .688 slugging percentage entering Saturday, and his defense was getting better, too. Odor was also getting his swagger back, a key component to what had fueled his rapid rise to the majors.
But he shouldn’t be sitting by his phone waiting for the Rangers to call him back up. He needs to be more consistent, and it’s not like Tommy Field has been a liability.
Far from it.
Field delivered a key two-run double Friday night in a 10-9 win, and he has made just about every play defensively since he was promoted May 11 to replace Odor.
Field has made second base less of a liability.
“He’s been stable in a spot that we needed someone to step in and play well,” manager Jeff Banister said. “Tommy was playing every day, so he had the rhythm of the game.”
Field knows that he isn’t a power hitter, despite two homers in his first 10 games. He knows he doesn’t need to try to do more than he is capable of doing, at the plate or in the field.
“I can make the routine play and not be a liability,” he said. “I’m not trying to do too much.”
Odor will be back in the majors at some point, but the Rangers are waiting until he is playing more cleanly in the field, controlling the strike zone more consistently and playing with edge.
“He needs to get back to being that guy,” Banister said. “He needs to focus on being a minor league player that’s trying to get back to the major leagues.”
▪ Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre could soon be taking their first day off of the season, in part because of a two night-game-day-game stretch in four days. They might not want one, though. “I’m 26 years old,” Andrus said. “I can’t be tired.”
▪ Jake Smolinski didn’t have the first-class accommodations Friday usually afforded players on the 40-man roster. After learning that he had been recalled, Smolinski flew from Austin on JetBlue Airways and sat in a middle seat deep in the plane. “You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” he said.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760