Yesterday’s game against the Detroit Tigers started out with the first injury of the season – well, technically – for the Texas Rangers. After hitting a triple RBI, Josh Hamilton strained his right shoulder either sliding into third base where Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge fell on top of Hamilton or sliding into home where he was tagged out by Tigers catcher Victor Martinez. He got up and came off the field holding his back in discomfort.
Hamilton believes the injury came from sliding into home because he says that he heard a couple of pops during that particular play. He headed to the batting cage to see how he could handle a few swings, and that was all he could handle – a few swings.
X-Ray and MRI Results
Hamilton had X-Rays done which ruled out dislocation and separation of his right shoulder. The 2010 AL MVP also had an MRI done and the results weren’t expected until early this morning but apparently came in early yesterday evening as Jon Daniels announced during a conference that Hamilton would indeed be missing six to eight weeks due to a non-displaced, small hairline fracture of his humerus bone. Hamilton should be able to start practicing batting again in about four weeks but he is expected to miss the full eight weeks for recovery.
Injury Brings Up Questions for Hamilton
Injury concerns have been an issue for Josh and in the offseason when he was asking for more money than the Rangers offered him in arbitration, many believed he wasn’t worth it because of not just the possibility of a relapse but also injury. I took up for him – he’s an awesome player all the way around. Injury is going to happen when you play the game and you play it right and hard. With this injury early in the season, it of course brought up questions regarding previous injuries and if he was more at risk for injuries than others. This is what Josh had to say:
I can understand that if I was pulling things like hamstrings or quads and it was not actual high-intensity things like hitting walls. I’m making plays that the game calls me to make and I’m getting injured that way. That proves to me that I can get hurt any time doing anything. I’m tired of talking about it, to be honest with you.
Roster and Lineup Changes
The injury puts Hamilton on the DL and Chris Davis was recalled and will take his spot on the Rangers roster. In fact, he arrived from the Minors about an hour and a half prior to the game today. Davis will find some time at first as well as third in addition to the possibility of playing outfield if the Rangers needed him unexpectedly and Mitch Moreland could very well see some time in the outfield as well. While Hamilton is on the DL, David Murphy will find himself as the starter in left field – where he started today – and will become an everyday starter. Michael Young found himself batting third today with Josh out.
Clarification on the Play
He didn’t make the call to move on to home himself – the Rangers’ third base coach Dave Anderson told him to make the move. The coach saw an opportunity and he wanted Hamilton to seize it. Hamilton did as his coach said and made the play – it just ended badly and Hamilton isn’t happy about it. Anderson said he would have never wanted Hamilton to slide into home head first as he did and Jon Daniels backs that up. But the thing about that is that each player has their own way of doing things – running, stealing bases, sliding, etc.
Hamilton has said that he doesn’t plan to apologize for being angry and has criticized Anderson. There’s really no reason for him to apologize but the coach thought he was telling Hamilton to do what was right. Spots are going to open and they are going to close as soon as you start moving in on that play that you thought would work. That’s just how baseball works. Both guys were right in their own sense and it’s just something everyone is going to have to deal with. You don’t get anywhere in baseball if you don’t try to make plays when you see an opportunity and if you aren’t aggressive. If the team didn’t play aggressively, they wouldn’t be where they are today.
The entire thing is just part of the game and that’s that.
The Team Will Move On…
While the Rangers will be just fine without Hamilton, who hasn’t really found his true swing yet this season, it is a bit of a blow having him injured just before heading to Yankee Stadium for a three-game series against the New York Yankees. Hamilton was originally going to have Wednesday off so that he could be well rested for the Yankees.
Again, the Rangers are going to move on just fine without Hamilton and hopefully once he returns to the team, he won’t find himself with another DL stint this year.