Josh Hamilton undergoes X-rays on sore rib cage

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The Rangers aren’t off to the best start here in September.  They’ve dropped two straight games to the Twins at Target Field and now center fielder Josh Hamilton is even more banged up, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Hamilton, already battling a semi-serious knee injury and back soreness, collided with the outfield wall on Saturday afternoon at Target Field and was removed in the fifth inning.  He was taken to a local hospital for X-rays on his ribs.  They turned up negative, but he’s likely to miss Sunday’s series finale.

“I
just pinned my elbow up against my ribs and hit the wall,” Hamilton
said. “We’re just calling it day-to-day right now. Right now, they’re
just saying bruised ribs. It was a weird play. I was going back to the
wall. I felt the track under my feet, so I jumped because I thought I
was closer to the well. When I came down I rolled my ankle and fell into
the wall.”

The Rangers have an eight-game lead in the American League West and would be wise to give Hamilton some time off down the stretch.  Playing him at DH could work as well.  Remember, the 29-year-old slugger played in only 89 games last season.

Mike Trout has been really good at baseball lately

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“Water wet,” “Sky blue,” “Dog bites man” and “Mike Trout good” are not exactly newsworthy sentiments, but once in a while you have to state the obvious just so you can look back later and make sure you were, in the moment, aware of the obvious.

And to be fair, “Mike Trout good” is underselling the Angels outfielder lately. He’s on the greatest tear of his great career lately, and dang it, that’s worthy of a few words on this blog.

Last night Trout went a mere 1-for-1, but that’s because the Diamondbacks were smart enough not to pitch to him too much, walking him twice. There was no one on base the first time he came up and he got a free pass. There was a guy on first but two outs the second time, so he was once again not given much to hit and took his base again. Arizona was not so lucky the third time. The bases were loaded and there was nowhere to put Trout. He smacked the first pitch he saw for a two-run single. They probably shoulda just walked him anyway, limiting the damage to one. The last time up he reached on catcher’s interference. Maybe Arizona figured that literally grabbing the bat from him with a catcher’s mitt was the best bet?

If so you can’t blame them, really. Not with the month he’s had. In June, Trout is hitting .448/.554/.776 with five homers. He currently leads the league in the following categories: home runs (23), runs (60), walks (64), on-base percentage (.469), OPS (1.158) OPS+ (219), total bases (179) and intentional walks (9). He currently has a bWAR of 6.5. WAR, in case you did not know, is a cumulative stat. When he won the 2014 MVP Award, he “only” had 7.6 for the entire year.

Sadly, one man does not a team make, so the Angels are only 9-8 in the month of June and have fallen far back of the red-hot Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners in the division race. For this reason I suspect a lot of people are going to do what they’ve long done and overlook Mike Trout’s sheer dominance or, even more ridiculously, claim he is overrated or something (believe me, I’ve seen it even this month).

Feel free to ignore those people and concentrate instead on the greatest baseball player in the game today, who has somehow managed to up his game in recent weeks.