From beat writer Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram comes word that the Rangers believe outfielder Josh Hamilton might be playing through a sports hernia. Not just a tweaked a groin muscle.
Hamilton has registered an underwhelming .250/.264/.354 batting line this postseason, though he does have eight RBI in 12 games. No tests have been run to confirm the Rangers’ suspicion, and that probably won’t change until after the World Series.
Hamilton has committed to playing through the discomfort. And if he needs surgery in the offseason, so be it. The 30-year-old slugger is batting third and playing center field Saturday night in Game 3.
Here’s Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, speaking about Hamilton’s injury on Saturday afternoon:
“We’ve go three to five games left. After that, even if (he does have a hernia), it doesn’t change how we will handle it at this point. He says he’s OK to play, doctors say they’re OK if he’s playing, he’s out there in the lineup.”
The seven-game Fall Classic is tied 1-1, but the next three contests will take place in Arlington, Texas.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.