Rangers Will Survive Without Hamilton…

The Rangers yesterday placed Josh Hamilton on the 15 Day DL with an abdominal strain. Hamilton could miss anywhere from two weeks to two months. That is kind of a wide range, but there is a possibility of surgery if the injury doesn’t improve in two weeks. While losing Hamilton for an extended period of time would be a tremendous loss for the Rangers, all is not lost.

While losing Hamilton for an extended period of time would be a tremendous loss for the Rangers, all is not lost.

Let’s take a look at Hamilton’s contributions to the Rangers so far—they really haven’t been much.

First, Hamilton has only played in 68 percent (35 out of 51) of the Rangers’ games this year. Second, when he has been in the lineup, Hamilton hasn’t been up to the standards he set during the first half of last year.

Hamilton has put up a .240/6/24 hitting line this year and has a dreadful .290 OBP. Granted, Hamilton has played most of the season hurt, but there is no excuse for having only a .290 OBP.

Despite Hamilton’s limited contributions, the Rangers have the second-best record in the AL with a 30-21 mark and currently have a 4.5 game lead in the AL West, so it’s not as if the Rangers have been dependant on Hamilton to win games.

The Rangers have enough good hitters to make up for the time Hamilton may miss.

The Rangers still have four very capable OFs who can hit with anyone. Nelson Cruz is putting up a .295/15/39 line and may be an All Star this year. Marlon Byrd has found a second life with the Rangers and has turned into a very good fourth OF type player. Byrd has hit .303 with four homers and 24 RBI so far this season.

Speaking of second lives, Andruw Jones is back, kids. After being left for dead by the Dodgers and the rest of baseball, Jones has hit .282 with five homers, 14 RBI, and a very, very solid .415 OBP in just 25 games. Jones isn’t a CF anymore, but he has turned himself into a more than capable RF of LF.

The Rangers also have David Murphy, whom they acquired from the Red Sox in the Eric Gagne trade two years ago.

Now, before everyone says that Murphy is only batting is .237 this year and can’t cut the mustard, remember, Murphy did hit .275 last year with 15 home runs and 74 RBI in just 108 games. Over a 162-game season, that’s a 22 home run and 110 RBI pace. Not too shabby.

Let’s also take a step back here for a second. I am not suggesting the Rangers won’t miss Hamilton at all. For me to suggest that would be the height of comedy. Hamilton is the leader of the Rangers and has a certain “aura” about him that makes his teammates gravitate toward him. Any time a team loses their leader, it hurts.

But I do think the Rangers will be able to survive without Hamilton, and I will say this: Whenever Hamilton does comes back, whether that is in two weeks or two months, the Rangers will still be in first place.


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