Josh Hamilton to start hitting off a tee Wednesday

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Josh Hamilton, who has been shelved for three weeks with a broken humerus sustained sliding into home plate, will begin swinging off a tee Wednesday, the Rangers revealed today.

Hamilton has been playing catch and shagging flyballs in his rehab and is considered about a week ahead of schedule. The Rangers originally said he’d be out 6-8 weeks with the injury. If he can avoid any setbacks, a return during the May 23-29 homestand against the White Sox and Royals seems possible.

With Hamilton sidelined, the Rangers have alternated Julio Borbon and David Murphy in center field, with Mitch Moreland shifting back and forth between first base and the right field. Borbon could be at risk of being sent back to the minors when Hamilton returns, though he has some time left to secure his spot.

Astros’ Verlander to have elbow surgery, miss rest of season

Justin Verlander
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Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.

“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.

He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.

“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”

Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.

“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.

“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”

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