NEW YORK -- The Rangers had a need for an outfielder Friday, but decided the time was still not right to bring Josh Hamilton to the big leagues.
Instead, the Rangers called up Jake Smolinski from Triple-A Round Rock when they put outfielder Kyle Blanks on the disabled list with a pilonidal cyst. Hamilton will continue to play this weekend at Round Rock and it's still likely he'll be activated Monday in Cleveland.
Hamilton has played a combined 11 games for Round Rock and Double-A Frisco and went into Friday night's game with 14 hits in 41 at-bats.
"We thought about it," manager Jeff Banister said. "But he's a little shy of 50 at-bats, a little shy of 45 at-bats, we would like to allow him to get to that point. That's a normal number for Spring Training and being ready.
"It's not a normal process for him. The guys he has been facing are already into their season. His at-bats early were not where he would like them to be, but they are trending that way and been good. The thought is to stay with the process and complete the process."
Smolinski opened the season on the Rangers' roster as their fourth outfielder, but was optioned to Triple-A on May 13 when Mitch Moreland was activated off the disabled list. He has played in 12 games at Round Rock and was 12-for-28 with two home runs and five RBIs.
Smolinski played in 24 games for Texas and was hitting .140 with a .290 on-base percentage and a .220 slugging percentage.
"He has been swinging the ball well," Banister said. "We talked about this before, when he was here, he had the highest velocity off the bat of anyone other than [Prince] Fielder. When he put the ball in play, it was hard. He swung into some bad luck."