Josh Hamilton might be playing with a sports hernia

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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.

Yu Darvish suffers setback during rehab start

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Cubs starter Yu Darvish suffered a setback during Sunday’s rehab start with Low-A South Bend, The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg reports. Darvish threw just 19 pitches in the first inning and felt fine. However, when he took the mound to warm up ahead of the second inning, Darvish “felt something” in his injured right elbow. He exited the game to undergo an MRI.

Darvish’s condition isn’t yet known, but it’s obviously bad news. Darvish signed a six-year, $126 million contract in February and has made just eight starts this season. He owns a 4.95 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 21 walks in 40 innings and hasn’t pitched since May 20.

Darvish said he hopes to return before the end of the regular season to help the team. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein is realistic about the situation. He said, “It’s a process. We’ll see how he feels. It’s been a long road back, so there’s no point in rushing it now. We probably have one chance given where we are on the calendar to get this right, so that’s the priority.”

Mike Montgomery has pitched out of the rotation in Darvish’s place but he is also currently on the disabled list. Tyler Chatwood, with a 5.22 ERA and 93 walks in 101 2/3 innings, was booted from the rotation at the end of July after the Cubs acquired Cole Hamels. The Cubs, entering Sunday 20 games over .500 and fewer than five games ahead of the Cardinals and Brewers in the NL Central, need some reliability at the back of the rotation.