Hamilton close but Washington wants to wait
Josh Hamilton said he is ready to return to the lineup, at least as a designated hitter. Manager Ron Washington isn’t ready to put him in there yet.
Hamilton, who has been sidelined since Sept. 2 with a pinched nerve in his lower back, took 30 swings in batting practice and said he had no problems with his back.
“It went really good,” Hamilton said. “I didn’t really have any pain. We’ll see how it feels tomorrow.”
Hamilton said he told Washington that he could be ready to start at designated hitter on Wednesday.
“I feel good enough,” Hamilton said. “That’s what it’s about, feeling good enough to play.”
But Washington wants to wait and give Hamilton more time. It has been 20 days and since it is September, Hamilton can’t go to the Minor Leagues on a medical rehabilitation assignment. He may not be back before the weekend series against the Rays in Arlington.
“He hasn’t been able to do anything for three weeks,” Washington said. “Today was just a start. If he continues to progress, Tampa Bay is realistic.”