Well…Are the Rangers going to get the 2008 or 2009 version of Josh Hamilton?

On the very first workout for the full squad this morning Josh Hamilton has already suffered an injury to his left shoulder. According to MLB.com Hamilton was diving to catch a pop up and landed on his shoulder. Right now he is considered day to day with the diagnosis being a bruised left shoulder.

The 2008 season for Josh Hamilton was completely outstanding. Early in the season nobody knew who Josh Hamilton was, all they saw was this guy who was covered in a ton of tattoos and seemed to have some power. Then he burst onto the scene in April hitting .330 with 38 hits and 6 home runs. In May he then hit .322 with 37 hits and 8 home runs. He finished the season with a .304 average, 190 hits and 32 home runs.

Going into 2009, it was looking promising for Hamilton and the Texas Rangers. The Rangers ended up winning 87 games last year with Hamilton basically being an “Average Player.” In 2009 Hamilton only appeared in 89 games due to injuries. Instead of hitting .304, he hit .268. Instead of 190 hits, he hit 100 less hits and instead of 32 home runs he only hit 10. The decrease in hits and home runs can somewhat be explained by the fact he appeared in less games in 2009 than 2008. Also if you are constantly coming back from injuries you have to take time to get your timing back with your swing in order to hit the ball better. So basically Hamilton spent a good portion of the year in Spring Training Mode.

The thing that has to be said about Hamilton’s injuries is that they were not sustained due to lack of training or conditioning. It was the fact that he plays the game of baseball hard and he puts everything thing he has into the game. Both times he was placed onto the disabled list last year were due to him crashing into an outfield wall while tracking a fly ball. The first time he was placed onto the disabled list was for a bruised ribcage and the second time was for an abdominal tear which required surgery.

It was reported today that the Rangers believe that this current injury should not affect Hamilton greatly, although he is listed as day to day. The key to the Rangers success in 2010 is if he is healthy. Depending on the outcome of the upcoming season could determine how the Rangers personnel looks in 2011. Ron Washington has helped them improve ever year since coming over from Oakland beginning in the 2007 season. It will be interesting to see how the new ownership group reacts if the Rangers perform poorly this next season. As of today the Rangers have to hope that Hamilton will be healthy next season and that they will make the playoffs somehow, whether that be the American League West Title or the American League Wild card.

Topics: Josh Hamilton, Ron Washington

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