Texas Rangers

Hamilton has ACL surgery, future with Rangers in doubt

Josh Hamilton, discussing his left knee injury in February, will begin rehabbing the knee after ACL surgery but his time with the Rangers could be over.
Josh Hamilton, discussing his left knee injury in February, will begin rehabbing the knee after ACL surgery but his time with the Rangers could be over. rmallison@star-telegram.com

Josh Hamilton underwent an ACL reconstruction on his left knee Wednesday in Houston, a procedure that could end his career and could end his time with the Texas Rangers.

Dr. Walt Lowe, the Houston Texans’ knee specialist, performed the surgery and warned the Rangers last month that an ACL repair was a possibility. Lowe, though, wasn’t certain that it was needed until he examined the damage once inside the knee.

The Rangers announced May 23 that Hamilton would have season-ending surgery, but to repair meniscus. Daniels said that Lowe wasn’t convinced the ACL repair was needed until he started the procedure Wednesday.

“It wasn’t certain at that point,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “There were a couple different spots in the knee, and he wanted to run another few tests to see if it was the ACL.”

Josh Hamilton has one year remaining on the five-year, $125 million contract he signed with the Angels in 2012, but the Rangers owe him only $2 million in 2017.

Hamilton, the 2010 American League MVP, will remain in Houston and begin rehabbing the injury in the next few days. The Rangers did not say how long the typical ACL rehab takes, but it’s possible Hamilton could be ready for spring training.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels announced Shin-Soo Choo was placed on the disabled list and Josh Hamilton having season-ending knee surgery. Plus, he discusses Jared Hoying being called up and the arrival of Yu Darvish (Video by Stefan Stevens

The Rangers, though, have several outfielders without injury history and might release Hamilton, who is on the 60-day disabled list, after the season. He has one year left on the five-year, $125 million contract he signed with the Los Angeles Angels in December 2012, and the Rangers owe him only $2 million in 2017.

Hamilton underwent surgery twice in a month last fall and had another procedure in spring training that involved stem cell therapy. He started a rehab assignment April 30 but felt discomfort and was pulled back. 

Profar sits

For 11 consecutive games Jurickson Profar could be found at second base, designated hitter and first base for the Rangers. On Wednesday against the Houston Astros, he could be found on the bench.

Profar sat for the first time since he was promoted from Triple A Round Rock on May 27 to fill in for the suspended Rougned Odor. Profar’s hot bat kept him on the roster, and the slumping bats of Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland helped him stay in the lineup after Odor returned.

I feel good. They decided to give me a day off. I’ll take it.

Jurickson Profar

Aside from playing 11 consecutive games, Profar also was given a two-day crash course this week in playing first base that required extra time on the field before games.

“I feel good,” Profar said. “They decided to give me a day off. I’ll take it.”

Jurickson Profar got a day off Wednesday as manager Jeff Banister tries to keep the infielder fresh (video by Jeff Wilson).

Moreland returned to first base after two days off, and Fielder was in the lineup for a third straight game after he was taken out of the lineup for two games.

Fielder went 2 for 4 on Monday but was 0 for 3 with three strikeouts Tuesday.

“I’m trying to make adjustments,” Fielder said. “Any time you get benched you try not to let any of that happen again.” 

Dyson down

Closer Sam Dyson was not available out of the bullpen for Game 3 of a four-game series against the Astros after pitching on three consecutive days.

Included in his three-day workload was a 30-pitch ninth inning Tuesday, after which he looked at his right index finger and was soaking it in the clubhouse. Manager Jeff Banister said that there isn’t an issue there.

“He’s the phone coach tonight,” Banister said. “Pitchers soak their fingers from time to time. When you throw a baseball, depending on how the seams come off the fingers, you develop calluses. Sometimes the fingernails split.”

Rangers closer Sam Dyson earned his eighth save Tuesday after working out of a ninth-inning jam by striking out the side. He said Ken Giles' pregame bulletin board material added no extra motivation (Video by Stefan Stevenson/Star-Telegram).

The Rangers improved to a league-best 12-4 in one-run games with the 4-3 victory Tuesday. With several close games of late, the Rangers haven’t been able to find work for Shawn Tolleson and Luke Jackson.

Tolleson, the former closer, hasn’t pitched a major league game since May 25 after seven days on the MLB family emergency medical list. He threw live batting practice last week at Double A Frisco.

Rehab updates

Catcher Robinson Chirinos (broken right ulna) will return to Globe Life Park today after a second straight minor league game catching nine innings and is eligible to come off the 60-day DL. But he might get the day off and be activated Friday at Seattle to start a 10-game road trip.

Right fielder Shin-Soo Choo (strained left hamstring) was to play seven innings Wednesday with Double A Frisco, be the Frisco designated hitter Thursday and play nine innings in the field Friday and Saturday. He could be activated from the 15-day DL on Monday at Oakland.