Josh Hamilton Will Begin The Season On Disabled List
Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton will begin the 2016 MLB season on the disabled list with a knee injury.
On Wednesday, Rangers team spokesman John Blake announced that Hamilton will start the season on the disabled list after the Rangers slugger arrived at Spring Training complaining that he was still feeling pain in his surgically repaired left knee.
Thad Levine, the Rangers assistant general manager, said that Hamilton received a stem cell and platelet rich plasma injection this past Monday, when he met with Dr. Jeff Dugas in Alabama for a second opinion. The five-time All-Star has since returned to Arizona where he will begin what the team has described as an eight-week program to help him get ready for the upcoming season.
Levine said, “the reason we are giving him an eight-week program is so we don’t cut any corners and give him a full spring training.”
Hamilton is expected to be on crutches for seven-to-ten days and then he will require at least eight weeks of recovery time. After which, Hamilton would start a minor league rehabilitation assignment in late April with the hope that the 2010 A.L. MVP could return to the Rangers lineup sometime in May.
Hamilton, who will turn 35 in May, has had his trouble staying on the field for the past few seasons. He missed 89 games in 2014 and 50 games last season. He even started the beginning of the 2015 MLB season on the disabled list with a shoulder injury before hurting his left knee in late August, which required surgery this past October.
Hamilton is in the fourth year of a five-year, $125 million deal, and the Los Angeles Angels are on the hook for most of the money. The oft-injured Hamilton is set to make $28.410 million this year, with the Angels picking up $26.41 of it.
Given the history of Hamilton’s injuries lingering, the Rangers will most likely need to add depth to their outfield. They could look outside their organization towards free-agents like Shane Victorino, Austin Jackson, Will Venable and David Murphy to fill their need at left field. Or they can stay within their organization with players that include Justin Ruggiano, Mitch Moreland and even Joey Gallo to play left field.
Hamilton has only managed to play in a 139 games the past two seasons combined. And in limited playing time last season, he only hit .253/.291/.441 with eight homeruns and 25 RBIs. With his age, history with injuries and decline in production, anything the Rangers get from Hamilton should be considered a bonus.