|The Rangers will be without Hamilton for at least another month.
Within a two-hour span Monday, the Rangers revealed that they picked up manager Ron Washington's option for 2010, that Josh Hamilton would undergo surgery to repair a torn abdominal muscle and that Brandon McCarthy was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his right shoulder.
Taking them one at a time:
- Washington's option was an easy call. There were times last year at which it didn't seem he'd last into 2009, but with the Rangers off to such a fine start, there shouldn't have been any hesitation In guaranteeing his modest salary for another year. I still don't think Nolan Ryan is sold on Washington, but his players seem quite fond of him. If Washington leads the team to the postseason, then he should get a real contract extension over the winter.
- Hamilton is slated to miss 4-6 weeks following surgery on Tuesday. He should come back after the All-Star break and produce, but last year's 156-game season will likely go down as a fluke from a player who has spent much of his pro career sidelined due to injury when not suspended because of drugs. Marlon Byrd has replaced him in center field, with David Murphy picking up most of the time in left. Andruw Jones remains a backup despite his 933 OPS in 92 at-bats. Murphy is at 708 in 112 at-bats.
- McCarthy's loss could prove to be bigger, depending on whether this stress fracture is worse than the one that kept him out in 2007. Incredibly, he was able to return after just a month off when he suffered a stress fracture in his shoulder blade in Aug. 2007. McCarthy has a 4.92 ERA this season, but he's pitched fairly effectively in eight of his 11 starts. The Rangers were expected to put Derek Holland back into the bullpen to make room for the returning Matt Harrison, but he'll probably have to remain a starter now. It's a very good thing the Rangers had yet to pay anyone to take Vicente Padilla off their hands.