|Hamilton won't be repeating his 130 RBIs
Josh Hamilton has been in and out of Texas' lineup since suffering a groin injury while crashing into the outfield wall on May 17 and the team announced Tuesday that he has "an abdominal strain that's effectively a form of a sports hernia." For now the hope is that he'll return following a 15-day stint on the disabled list, but it also could require surgery that would sideline him for two months.
Outfield depth is a strength for the Rangers and Hamilton had hit just .240 with a .746 OPS in 138 plate appearances, so they're relatively well equipped to handle his injury in the short term. David Murphy, Marlon Byrd, and Nelson Cruz started from left to right in Texas' outfield Tuesday night and Andruw Jones will also see increased action.
While the Rangers try to stay atop the AL West without the guy who led the AL in RBIs last season, here are some other notes from around baseball …
* Carlos Beltran missed his third straight game with a "stomach virus" Tuesday, which combined with reports that a member of the Mets' broadcast team is being hospitalized with what may be a case of swine flu has everyone wondering about what's going on. John Maine is also suffering from a stomach virus, but assistant general manager John Rizzo told reporters that neither case is swine flu related.
* Speaking of the flu, Jake Peavy left his Tuesday start after allowing four runs in the first inning with what the team termed "a viral upper respiratory infection." It's the shortest start of Peavy's career and he's been dealing with ankle problems of late, but the Padres insisted that wasn't behind the early exit. Peavy had won his previous three starts and turned down a trade to the White Sox last week.
* Edinson Volquez was placed on the disabled list Tuesday after his fingers went numb during Monday's start, but the Reds also got some good news. Dr. Timothy Kremchek diagnosed Volquez with elbow tendinitis and suggested that he should be fine after a couple weeks off, which Dusty Baker described as "the best news it could be for bad news."
* After starting rookie Jordan Schafer in 49 of the first 50 games, Atlanta decided to send him down Tuesday while recalling Gregor Blanco from Triple-A. Schafer earned the demotion by hitting just .204/.313/.287 with 63 strikeouts and Blanco started 103 games last season split between left field and center field. He went 0-for-5 in center field Tuesday, but has enough speed to be an NL-only asset.
* Mike Scioscia suggested Tuesday that Howie Kendrick could be in danger of a demotion to Triple-A if he doesn't turn things around soon. Kendrick entered this season as a career .306 hitter in 252 games, but he's batting just .225/.266/.350 through 171 plate appearances and potential replacement Sean Rodriguez is on fire at Triple-A with 18 homers, 55 RBIs, and an 1.001 OPS in 50 games.
AL Quick Hits: Joakim Soria came off the disabled list Tuesday after the Royals went 5-16 in his absence … Roy Halladay tallied a career-high 14 strikeouts in a 133-pitch complete game Tuesday, notching his MLB-leading ninth win … Xavier Nady threw again Tuesday and said that his elbow felt "much better" … Asdrubal Cabrera left Tuesday's game after suffering a shoulder injury while breaking up a double play … Michael Cuddyer remained sidelined Tuesday, but an MRI exam on his finger showed no structural damage … Matt Joyce went 3-for-4 and drove in four runs Tuesday, homering for the third time in five games since being called up from Triple-A … Barring another setback, Travis Hafner (shoulder) is slated to come off the shelf Friday … Vicente Padilla was rocked for seven runs Tuesday in his return from the DL … Julio Lugo was a healthy scratch for the third straight game Tuesday … Evan Longoria left Tuesday's game with a strained hamstring.
NL Quick Hits: Tom Glavine (shoulder) tossed six shutout innings in a rehab start Tuesday at Single-A and may be ready to join Atlanta's rotation … Milton Bradley left Tuesday's game with a strained calf and as always is now being considered day-to-day … Mike Cameron was out of Tuesday's lineup, but said that his knee injury isn't serious … Elijah Dukes came off the disabled list Tuesday and should see lots of action in the Nationals' outfield … Zach Duke induced 13 ground-ball outs Tuesday and beat Johan Santana with seven innings of one-run ball … Rich Harden (back) threw off a mound Tuesday for the first time since landing on the DL and reported no problems … Jesus Flores has been diagnosed with a stress fracture in his right shoulder, putting his season in doubt and leaving Washington with Josh Bard and Wil Nieves behind the plate … Jerry Manuel hinted Tuesday that J.J. Putz may be stripped of primary setup duties in favor of Bobby Parnell.