Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers pull Josh Hamilton off rehab with knee soreness

Jon Daniels senses frustration from Josh Hamilton

General manager Jon Daniels thought that Josh Hamilton might be feeling some frustration after the Rangers pulled him off of a rehab assignment because of knee soreness (video by Jeff Wilson).
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General manager Jon Daniels thought that Josh Hamilton might be feeling some frustration after the Rangers pulled him off of a rehab assignment because of knee soreness (video by Jeff Wilson).

Josh Hamilton was pulled off of a medical rehabilitation assignment Sunday by the Texas Rangers after feeling soreness in his left knee Saturday while running the bases during his first rehab game.

Hamilton reached on an error and flied out to right field in four innings for Double A Frisco, but he was scheduled to play five. He received an injection of cortisone in the affected area, and the hope is he can return to game action next week.

“He had a recurrence of similar discomfort in his knee,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “I feel for him as much as anything. We have a lot of guys playing really well right now, so our first thought with Josh is get him to where he can play comfortably with it.”

3 Stints last season on the disabled list for Josh Hamilton, who opened 2016 on the 15-day DL

Hamilton wasn’t the only injury news from Sunday. The Rangers said that third baseman Joey Gallo, their top prospect, was placed on the seven-day disabled list at Triple A Round Rock with a strained left groin.

Gallo, reached via text message, said that he doesn’t think the injury is anything serious, but the Rangers will have Dr. Keith Meister examine Gallo on Monday at TMI Sports Medicine in Arlington.

Catcher Chris Gimenez (left leg infection) was in the lineup for Frisco on Sunday, catching Yu Darvish’s first rehab start, and could become an option for the Rangers during their seven-day road trip.

I look at it as anything we get from Josh going forward is a bonus because we’re really comfortable with the group we have out there now.

General manager Jon Daniels

Shin-Soo Choo (strained right calf) expects to start a rehab assignment May 9. He ran from home plate to first base for the latest test for his injury, and will travel with the Rangers on their seven-game road trip so that he can begin to take batting practice.

Choo has been working his way back alongside Hamilton, who isn’t likely to return from the DL until May 20 at the earliest.

“I look at it as anything we get from Josh going forward is a bonus because we’re really comfortable with the group we have out there now,” Daniels said.

Toronto bound

The Rangers were scheduled to depart for Toronto after Sunday afternoon’s game at Globe Life Park for their first visit to Rogers Centre since losing Game 5 of the American League Division Series.

Game 5 was completely normal, except for the seventh inning in which the Rangers went ahead on a freakish play, then surrendered the lead with three errors in the bottom half. The crowd went crazy after the Rangers’ run, throwing items onto the field, and tempers flared after Jose Bautista’s three-run homer and bat flip.

“It wasn’t crazy,” second baseman Rougned Odor said. “In Venezuela, it happens all the time.”

Some Rangers are feeling some extra motivation for to their return trip. Some say it’s just games in a new season. For some, it’s both.

“I’m ready to get back up there and play,” first baseman Mitch Moreland said. “It’s a completely different season. It’s a different team. We’ve started off having a good first month and we can get even better. That’s what we’re going to try to do.”

The Blue Jays finished April 11-14, undone by a balky bullpen, and in fourth place in the five-team AL East. They still have plenty of pop in their lineup, with 29 homers, despite batting only .232.

They led the league in runs and home runs in 2015, and most of the same players are back.

“They still impact the baseball,” manager Jeff Banister said. “They like playing in their ballpark. We’re going to have to play good baseball. We’re going to have to pitch it well.”

Rougned Odor reached into his bag of tricks Saturday to somehow get into third base safely. He talks about his nifty head-first slide (video by Jeff Wilson).

Odor slide magic

Odor was safe a third base Saturday after tagging up on a fly ball to left field, but only because of a remarkable slide in which he pulled back his right arm to avoid the tag of Yunel Escobar.

Odor said that he has pulled the trick a few times previously, and each time in his mind the play is being played out in super slo-mo.

“I did one last year in the playoffs at home plate,” Odor said. “It’s slow in my mind. I don’t know why, but I can see it like slow motion.”

Rangers manager Jeff Banister said that a few factors contributed to Rougned Odor getting caught in the seventh inning Sunday, an out that cost the Rangers a run (video by Jeff Wilson).

Left-hander Cole Hamels walked four Angels batters, including three in the fifth inning, as the Rangers lost 9-6 on Sunday (video by Jeff Wilson).

Third baseman Adrian Beltre said that the Rangers need to be more consistent in May if they hope to build upon a successful April (video by Jeff Wilson).

Manager Jeff Banister said that the Rangers don't view their upcoming stretch as critical, though it's critical they continue to play better (video by Jeff Wilson).

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