Texas Rangers

Rangers’ Josh Hamilton had another surgery on his left knee

Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton had surgery to clean up his left knee a couple weeks ago. It’s the same knee he had surgery on September 11.
Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton had surgery to clean up his left knee a couple weeks ago. It’s the same knee he had surgery on September 11. Special to the Star-Telegram

Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton had another surgical procedure on his left knee in late October.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Hamilton, who had surgery on Sept. 11 to clean up a torn meniscus in the same knee, felt additional discomfort after slamming into the left-field wall about two weeks later.

The latest procedure was aimed at cleaning up the knee but “wasn’t a major structural repair,” Daniels said.

Hamilton began working out at TMI Sports Medicine in Arlington earlier this week. Daniels said he got a positive report on his progress Tuesday night.

Napoli’s role

Mike Napoli helped the Rangers win the AL West down the stretch by putting the team first. That included, most notably, playing left field for the first time since high school while Hamilton was injured.

I love that stuff. From a team standpoint, it was a tremendous message. The guys rallied around it.

Rangers GM Jon Daniels on Mike Napoli playing in left field

It was a selfless, team-first move many veterans in a free agent year would balk at. None of it fazed Napoli, who rejoined the Rangers in early August after a trade with the Boston Red Sox. Texas went 9-2 in games he started in left field.

“I don’t think it was a coincidence that we played well,” Daniels said. “I think there was a feel-good piece to the whole thing. The guys have a lot of respect for him. I love that stuff. From a team standpoint, it was a tremendous message. The guys rallied around it.”

But it could be more than just a stop-gap, pennant race measure. Daniels said the club intends on having Napoli continue to get outfield work. Napoli, who is a free agent, is willing to do it, Daniels said. Napoli could potentially platoon with Hamilton in left.

“I know he’s willing to put the time and effort in,” Daniels said. “We haven’t gotten there yet. But if he can do it, it will open things up.”

Napoli came up as a catcher but has played first base or has been designated hitter exclusively since 2012.

Martin valued

The Rangers will tender a contract to outfielder Leonys Martin, Daniels said.

“He’s a pretty valuable player. He’s one of the best defensive outfielders in the game,” he said. “Is there more development on the offensive side? I think there is.”

He’s a guy who plays a premium position and plays it at a high level. He’ll either be with us or we’ll trade him for value.

Daniels on CF Leonys Martin

Several clubs have shown interest in Martin, who struggled offensively (.219 batting average and .264 on-base percentage) in 95 games in 2015.

“He’s a guy who plays a premium position and plays it at a high level,” Daniels said. “He’ll either be with us or we’ll trade him for value.”

Catching depth

Several trades last summer helped the Rangers reach the playoffs. But the trades for Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman and Sam Dyson came with a cost, especially in the organization’s catching depth. Tomas Telis was sent to the Marlins for Dyson and Jorge Alfaro, then the Rangers’ top catching prospect, went to the Phillies in a multi-player deal that brought Hamels and Diekman to the Rangers.

Trades last season involving minor league catchers Jorge Alfaro and Tomas Telis left the Rangers’ organization thin at the position.

It leaves Jose Trevino, a sixth-round pick in 2014, as the top catching prospect in the organization. He batted .262 with 14 homers and 19 doubles for Class A Hickory this year.

Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @StevensonFWST

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