Hamilton set to begin Minors stint, eyes return

Outfielder to play with Double-A Wednesday, hopes to be back with Rangers Monday in Baltimore

Hamilton set to begin Minors stint, eyes return

ARLINGTON -- The Josh Hamilton comeback tour appears to be resuming sooner rather than later.

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Hamilton said he will begin an injury rehabilitation stint Wednesday when he plays with Double-A Frisco. He also said he hopes to rejoin the Rangers' lineup next Monday at Baltimore.

That would make for good timing, seeing as Hamilton has a .345 career average with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs in 26 games at Camden Yards.

"[I would] like to already be back probably tomorrow, but we're going to Toronto and playing on turf, so they slowed me down, which is smart and probably a blessing in disguise," Hamilton said.

Hamilton went on the disabled list June 1 with a strained left hamstring, derailing his much-anticipated return to the Rangers.

Hamilton will play Wednesday with Frisco before being transferred to Triple-A Round Rock, where he will play at New Orleans on Thursday. Hamilton will then travel with the Express for a weekend series at Omaha before being reevaluated.

After being activated May 25, Hamilton hit .273 with two home runs and five RBIs in seven games before his injury.

Hamilton's first homer of 2015

Rangers manager Jeff Banister said Hamilton returning against the Orioles isn't official, but is a realistic target.

"We will take that day to day," Banister said. "See how he plays, how he comes out on the back end and how he shows up the next day. As far as predicting when he's going to be back, I don't see that it would be any sooner than that."

Hamilton, who is back to a normal baseball routine, underwent an MRI on Tuesday. He hasn't got the results yet, but the MRI is expected to give him full clearance to begin his Minors assignment.

It's likely that Hamilton will spend more time at DH than in the outfield in the Minors to allow for full focus on getting his rhythm back at the plate.

"It's about logging the at-bats and getting him back," Banister said.

Worth noting

• Outfielder Delino DeShields, who went on the DL with a left hamstring strain on June 15, said he will begin running at close to 100 percent Wednesday. DeShields has jogged on a treadmill, hit off a tee and took part in other baseball activities and said he hasn't had any problems. Banister estimated DeShields will need at least 10 more days before making a return.

DeShields exits game

• Left-handed pitcher Martin Perez said he "feels perfect" after resuming his rehab assignment Monday at Double-A Frisco. In his second rehab start since undergoing Tommy John surgery in May 2014, Perez allowed one run and threw 39 pitches over three innings. He said he hopes to throw close to 60 pitches in his next start Saturday and is aiming for a return after the All-Star break.

• Left-handed pitcher Matt Harrison will make his next rehab start Wednesday with Frisco. Harrison is expected to need one or two more starts before being a candidate to rejoin the Rangers.

Cody Stavenhagen is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.