ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, who leads the American League in home runs and RBI, has been admitted to a local hospital because of an intestinal virus.
Hamilton, who is receiving fluids, is expected to be released in the next 12 to 24 hours, according to a team spokesperson. Hamilton apparently caught the virus from someone in his family, the spokesperson said, and his sickness isn’t related to the one that led the Rangers to place left-handed pitcher Derek Holland on the disabled list.
Even if Hamilton is released soon, Texas manager Ron Washington said he doesn’t expect the center fielder to play this weekend against the Houston Astros.
Hamilton left the Rangers’ 11-3 loss to Arizona early in the game Thursday with an upset stomach.
“You don’t want your best player not to be in the lineup, but there’s nothing you can do about it,” Washington said. “We’re going to move forward and continue to play baseball.”
The Rangers brought up outfielder Leonys Martin from Triple-A Round Rock. Martin will start in center Friday night and bat ninth. The Rangers placed right-hander Koji Uehara on the 15-day DL with a strained right lat muscle to make room for Martin.
Stomach ailments have been common with the Rangers this year. In addition to Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Mike Napoli and Holland have missed time because of stomach problems.
The Rangers acknowledged they will miss Hamilton, who is hitting .330 with 22 home runs and 62 RBI.
“Hopefully he gets better as soon as possible, but it’s part of playing in the big leagues,” said Michael Young, who moved to the No. 3 spot in the batting order to replace Hamilton. “Sometimes it’s not always smooth sailing. You have to find a way to weather the storm and keeping fighting, keep grinding away. That’s the nature of the big leagues.”
Martin missed more than a month of the season with the Express after tearing a ligament in his thumb. He was hitting .344 at Round Rock with five homers and 22 RBI in 31 games. He’d hit safely in seven consecutive games with at least one RBI in each game of the streak.
Texas will have to make another personnel move Saturday to get starting pitcher Justin Grimm on the roster. The original plan was for Grimm to replace Uehara. Now the club will wait and see how their opener against the Astros plays out Friday before making the roster decision.