Sore left knee keeping Hamilton out

Rangers haven't discussed putting vet on DL; Strausborger filling in nicely in left field

Sore left knee keeping Hamilton out

ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton was not in the lineup in Tuesday's 3-2 loss to the Mariners and will likely not start Wednesday. He is still dealing with a sore left knee and the Rangers are trying to give it time to calm down.

"It's about the same," Hamilton said. "The structure of the knee is good. There has been a lot of stress on it so it's about getting it less irritated. I'm coming in and getting treatment. If they need me off the bench, I'm ready."

Manager Jeff Banister said the Rangers have not seriously discussed putting Hamilton on the disabled list but they did acquire outfielder Will Venable from the Padres on Wednesday to cover themselves in the outfielder. Venable will not report to the Rangers until Thursday, so for now they are content to let Hamilton rest and use Ryan Strausborger in left field.

"Based on all the information, we want to make sure we've got him for the long haul," Banister said. "Strausborger has played well, so we want to give Josh the opportunity to let the knee calm down. If he can contribute, why would we put him on the DL? There is value in having him on our team."

Strausborger's first MLB homer

Hamilton, who was acquired on April 27 from the Angels and activated off the disabled list on May 25, has played in 38 games and is hitting .254 with six home runs, 21 RBIs and a .430 slugging percentage.

"If he can continue to give what he has been giving us, I'll take that," Banister said. "When the guy is in our lineup, he does make a difference. It's about being prudent and letting the knee calm down. We also have a guy who has stepped in and contributed. It would be different story if we didn't have him."

Hamilton was on the disabled list from June 1-29 with a strained left hamstring and admitted that he might have needed more time to let that muscle heal. But he has been dealing with both a hamstring and left groin issue all summer and that has caused the stress on the knee.

"It's really a day-to-day thing," Hamilton said. "I can be in extreme pain one day and then two days later feel OK. That's kind of what we're hoping for. It's just a weird thing. When I'm not on it and standing on it, there's really not much pain. But whenever I walk on it, it's just an old knee.

"I can't get too frustrated. I kind of pulled everything pretty quick to get ready for the season. Didn't have that normal ramp up coming off the offseason with Spring Training. Then the hamstring thing … it's frustrating, but at the same time, it's very exciting because we're right in the mix of things and I think we're in a good position and right where we'd like to be at this point in the season."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.