Ron Washington Confident Josh Hamilton Will Be Healthy for Postseason
The Texas Rangers honestly can't say.
They wish they could, but he has extremely sore ribs, and he said Saturday he might not be ready to play by season's end.
In most seasons in Texas that wouldn't be a problem, but the Rangers are on the verge of their first playoff appearance since 1999, and they need Hamilton.
"When he's back is up to Josh," manager Ron Washington told FanHouse Sunday. "But I don't think we're looking at a situation where he's not ready for the playoffs."
That doesn't quite sound like what Hamilton is saying.
"The best-case scenario," Hamilton told the Rangers media Saturday, "would be back in (a week) and get a good week of regular season, get some at-bats and be rolling into the playoffs.
"At the moment, I don't see that happening. But with these things, you'll be hurting one day and the next day you'll wake up and feel tremendously better. I'm just waiting for that tremendously better day."
Hamilton is the Rangers' leader in home runs (31), batting average (.361) and hits (183), so it's clear they need him. But at least coming into Sunday there hasn't been much of a dropoff. Texas has won eight of its last 12 without Hamilton and that includes a three-game sweep of the Yankees, a team the Rangers might meet in the first round of the playoffs.
"This thing came up in Minnesota (Sept. 3-5) and while it's still a problem, I think there is enough time for it to get cleared up," Washington said. "If we get him back on the homestand and get him some at-bats to know the rust off, we'll be fine."
"We aren't going to lie down for anybody," the manager said.