Texas Rangers’ Josh Hamilton To Start 2016 On DL
By Kenneth Nash
Texas Rangers’ Josh Hamilton is to start the 2016 season on the DL and is hoping for a return in late-April.
News broke early this morning that Josh Hamilton is officially out come Opening Day of the 2016 season. The Texas Rangers announced that Hamilton received a stem cell injection in his left knee, where he’s dealt with soreness, on Wednesday. Josh Hamilton left Rangers’ camp to meet with an orthopedist from Dr. James Andrew’s clinic in Alabama to seek a second opinion according to the Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Hamilton is expected to be on crutches for the next week to ten days.
Hamilton showed up to Texas’ Spring Training with soreness caused by inflammation in his left knee. This knee was the subject of two surgeries in 2015, once in September and once after the season ended. After the second surgery, Hamilton took an extended period of time off before receiving a cortisone injection and entering baseball activities.
What This Means
With Hamilton out for start of the season, the Rangers now turn to find another option for left field. This could mean that eyes will turn to minor league prospects Nomar Mazara and Lewis Brinson. Both of these players show promising futures for the Texas Rangers and both are on the fast track to become starting outfielders in the next year or two. Both of them present a more feasible option than Joey Gallo however there are concerns with Mazara and Brinson’s experience and not wanting to rush their development.
Some have recommended looking into the free agent pool with names like David Murphy, Will Venable and Austin Jackson on the market. Along with left field, the Texas Rangers would be benefitted if their option also could serve as a backup in center field. This is the less pressing issue but it would be nice to fulfill both issues with one player.
As the evaluation of Josh Hamilton continues to develop, I’d expect the Texas Rangers to adapt to his more specific outlook. If Hamilton is truly out until late-April, Texas will likely try to use current options to fill his vacancy until he can return. However, if Hamilton turns out to more severely hurt than originally expected and pushes his return back further, plans may turn to Mazara to become the top option in left field. Overall, he’s the most developed out of himself and Brinson and likely wouldn’t face too much setback if brought up a tad bit early.
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