Let me preface this with a calming word: Josh Hamilton is not going to move from the outfield to first base, at least not by next season.
But it has been discussed.
Hamilton told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday that he would be open to — but is not requesting — a position change.
The current Rangers left fielder has been out since September 4 due to rib fractures that he suffered while running into an outfield wall and has struggled to stay healthy throughout his professional career. But he is one of the top defensive outfielders in the game and a move to first base would hurt his value to the Rangers in the present and his value as a potential free agent in the future.
“I’m open to playing anywhere,” Hamilton told the Morning News. “I think I’m a pretty good
outfielder and I just always thought I’d play the outfield as long as I
could, and if one day somebody wanted to move me to first or DH, then
I’d do that.”
Rangers GM Jon Daniels echoed that he is in no rush to make a move, even given Hamilton’s injury struggles. The MVP candidate biked for 20 minutes Tuesday and is hoping to play around three or four games before the end of the regular season.
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.
It’s been a tough season for the mythology of Jonny Gomes‘ veteran clubhouse savior reputation.
First he signed with the rebuilding Braves and performed poorly while Atlanta fell apart after a surprisingly decent start. Then he was traded to the Royals, for whom he played just 12 games and hit .167. And now Kansas City has left Gomes off the ALDS roster.
It makes sense, though. Gomes’ only real use to the Royals would be as a pinch-hitter versus left-handed pitching, but manager Ned Yost rarely pinch-hits and will no doubt be more willing to use 25th man Terrance Gore as a pinch-runner in the late innings.
Beyond that, not many surprises on the Royals’ roster for their series against the Astros. They went with 11 pitchers, which means both Chris Young and Kris Medlen are on the roster. Jeremy Guthrie is not.