Josh Hamilton steps up rehab, takes batting practice

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Participating in batting practice for the first time since suffering a broken humerus, Josh Hamilton took 40-50 swings without incident Friday, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Hamilton said he “let it go pretty good” during the sesson in Arlington.  He’s expected to take batting practice again tomorrow.

The plan is for Hamilton to have another set of X-rays next week.  If the scan shows the bone is healed, he’ll likely be cleared to begin a rehab assignment.

Ideally, Hamilton could begin playing in minor league games as soon as next Friday and then rejoin the Rangers for their May 23-29 homestand.

Currently just one game over .500 at 19-18 after their hot start, the Rangers will certainly welcome him back.

Melvin Upton released by the Giants

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Jon Heyman reports that the Giants have released outfielder Melvin Upton. He requested his release.

Upton, who turned 33 yesterday, signed with San Francisco in early April after the Blue Jays released him. It was a minor league deal. After recovering from a rash of minor injuries, Upton batted .244/.306/.333 in 12 games at Triple-A Sacramento. There was no indication that the Giants were going to call him up. I presume that, back when they signed him, they figured they’d be contending and could maybe use a veteran bat. That’s obviously not the case anymore.

I suppose it’s possible that someone gives Upton a look when rosters expand in eight days, but I figure it’s more likely that we’ll next see him as he fights to make a team on a minor league deal next spring.

Carlos Santana left last night’s game with back tightness

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Andrew Miller leaving last night’s Indians-Red Sox game got all the press, but the Indians lost another key player in the game as well: Carlos Santana. He was forced to leave after going 0-for-3. There was no followup announcement after the game, so he’s likely being reevaluated.

Santana is hitting .250/.355/.446 on the year, but he’s been pretty hot of late, hitting .375 with a couple of homers in the past week.