Josh Hamilton says back stiffness won't keep him out of lineup

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Josh Hamilton, who missed Wednesday’s game after receiving an injection for his sore right knee, was back in the lineup against the Twins on Friday. That’s the good news. The not-so-good? Hamilton left the game with lower back stiffness after connecting for a one-out single in the eighth inning, reports T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.

“I never felt it until I came out of the box,” Hamilton said. “I got to
first and felt they better get somebody in there to run.”

Still, Hamilton plans on being in the lineup Saturday. In fact, he expects to play the outfield.

“I don’t see it being a problem,” Hamilton said. “I’ll be good to go.”

The Rangers enter play Saturday at 75-59, nine games up on the second-place Athletics in the American League West. Hamilton is going to keep pushing for now, but you can bet he’ll get a few days off once the Rangers wrap this thing up.

Report: Mets close to a deal with Jose Bautista

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SNY’s Andy Martino reports that the Mets are close to a deal with free agent Jose Bautista. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as the Mets were rumored to be interested in him on Monday, a day after the Braves released him.

Bautista, 37, struggled to a .593 OPS in 40 plate appearances with the Braves. He’s coming off of his worst season as a regular, as he hit .203 in 157 games last year with the Blue Jays.

Bautista mostly played in the outfield for the Jays, but played third base for the Braves. The Mets need depth at both third base and in the outfield due to injuries to Todd Frazier, Yoenis Cespedes, and Juan Lagares.

It will be interesting to see who loses their roster spot to accomodate Bautista. I suggested earlier it should be Jose Reyes.