Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is expected to miss up to four weeks with a strained left hamstring. An MRI exam revealed a grade 2 strain. Hamilton hasn’t been in the lineup the past two games.
“It sucks, it’s frustrating,” Hamilton said. “The guys were playing good when I got here and I was able to start having some fun with them. It is frustrating but there’s nothing I can do about it. All I can do is try to get better as quick as I can.”
Hamilton felt the strain running for a fly ball in a game on Saturday. During his game-winning pinch hit in the ninth on Sunday, he felt it tighten again and has received treatment the past few days.
Hamilton hopes to be back within a month.
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“I’ve had success getting back pretty quick in the past so I’ll do everything I can to do the same here,” he said. “Anything before that is icing on the cake.”
Hamilton said he regrets not wrapping the hamstring before his pinch-hit appearance on Sunday.
“I feel bad for Josh,” manager Jeff Banister said. “We had a lineup before he got here so we’ll go ahead and continue to use the lineup before he got here.”
Fielder’s rare day off
Prince Fielder was not in the Texas Rangers’ lineup for the first time in 2015 on Wednesday.
It’s his first day off after 52 consecutive games (42 as a designated hitter, 10 at first base) and as far as Fielder remembers, it’s his first non-injury day off since 2006.
“I gave it my best shot,” Fielder said of his plea to remain in the lineup to Banister. “It’s hard to fight with Banny, he comes at you straightforward. I told him I wanted to play, he told me he wanted to give me a day. I told him no problem.”
For Banister, it was important to give Fielder — who is batting .355 with 39 RBIs — a day off around the team’s scheduled Monday day off. The fact that Fielder is 4 for 25 in his career against White Sox left-hander starter Chris Sale also played a part in the decision.
“When we looked up and saw the starting pitcher, this is one of the days we had tabbed to get Prince off his legs,” Banister said.
Fielder had been an especially durable player before last year, his first with the Rangers, when he missed all but 42 games of the season with a neck injury. From 2009 through 2012 he played in 809 of 810 games. He missed one game with the stomach flu in 2010.
Banister also has given shortstop Elvis Andrus, first baseman Mitch Moreland and right fielder Shin-Soo Choo days off recently. He doesn’t expect Fielder to play another 52 consecutive games before getting his next day off.
“That’s also predicated on how he feels,” Banister said. “I still believe when you can get a day off this time of year it fills up the bucket for the middle part of the year and towards the end of the year.”
Catcher Robinson Chirinos came out of Tuesday’s game after being hit by a pitch on his right hand but was available Wednesday. Chirinos said it was a little sore swinging the bat in the cage before Wednesday’s game. Carlos Corporan started at catcher.
Outfielder Delino DeShields was named the American League Rookie of the Month for May after leading all AL rookies in runs (22), walks (15), stolen bases (10), and on-base percentage (.406). DeShields leads the league with five bunt singles.
Left-hander Matt Harrison allowed two runs on five hits in five innings for Triple A Round Rock on Wednesday. It was Harrison’s first start in the minor leagues since having spinal fusion surgery a year ago. He threw 78 pitches (49 strikes) while striking out four and walking one. Harrison said he struggled with his rhythm early. His velocity hit in the upper 80s by the fourth and fifth innings.
“I’m getting outs, just a little different way. I threw and got off the field healthy. It was a good day,” Harrison said.
He makes his next rehab start on Monday.
Choo chugs along
Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo has been playing with a sprained left pinkie since attempting to make a catch against the wall on a homer in Cleveland last week. Choo has chosen to play with the injury instead of having a procedure to repair it, which would keep him out of the lineup for up to a month.
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760