The Texas Rangers will be moving left fielder Josh Hamilton from Triple-A Round Rock to Double-A Frisco starting on Saturday according to Anthony Andro of Fox Sports Southwest. Andro also reports that Hamilton will play Saturday and Sunday for Frisco, take Monday off, and then play on Tuesday and Wednesday. After Wednesday’s game he will be evaluated and a decision will be made as to whether he will be called up, or will play through a few more games in the minors.
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In five games with the Express, Hamilton is 3-for-16 (.188) with a .188 on-base percentage against Nashville (A’s) and Omaha (Royals). Over the weekend Frisco will be Facing Corpus Christi (Astros) followed by a mid-week series against Midland (A’s), both of which are at home.
On Wednesday’s decision day, the Texas Rangers will be in Boston with Thursday’s finale left to play. From there they head to New York to face the Yankees over the weekend, followed by a three-game set in Cleveland.
If it were up to me, I would give Hamilton the extra few days in the minors to find his stroke, and debut him in Cleveland on Monday, May 25th. Considering the circumstances of Hamilton’s acquisition from the Angels, keeping him away from large cities like Boston and New York for his debut is likely for the best. The fans in both cities can be unforgiving, and while Hamilton will likely hear the jeers from many crowds in the coming weeks, it would be beneficial to Hamilton, and the Rangers, to let the 34 year old slugger get reacquainted with the majors after a jarring offseason before being subjected to ridicule.
Furthering this case, Hamilton has struggled against Boston’s projected starter for that Thursday game, Clay Buckholtz. In his career Hamilton is 3-for-24 against the righty. Against the Yanks’ projected starters, Michael Pineda, C.C. Sabathia and Nathan Eovaldi, Hamilton is a combined 4-for-28 (.143) with two doubles and a home run.
Yes this sounds like babying, but given the substance abuse of Hamilton’s past being extra cautious is the right way to go, not only for the team, but for Josh Hamilton as well.