Hamilton hospitalized with intestinal virus

Hamilton hospitalized with intestinal virus

Hamilton hospitalized with intestinal virus
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are expected to be without All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton for their weekend series with the Astros after he was hospitalized with an intestinal virus on Friday morning.

Hamilton was expected to be hospitalized 12-24 hours, but manager Ron Washington is planning on him not being ready to play against the Astros. The two teams open a three-game series on Friday night at the Ballpark in Arlington.

"We're going to miss Hamilton," Washington said Friday afternoon. "But we're going to continue to move forward and play baseball. You don't want your best player out of the lineup but there is nothing we can do about it.

"I'm not expecting him to play [Saturday]. After that we'll wait and see. We've got a day game on Sunday so he's probably gone for the weekend."

Hamilton, who has been getting fluids through IV injections, came out of Thursday's 11-3 loss to the D-backs late in the game after complaining of a stomach ache. On Friday morning, the situation became worse and he was admitted to a local hospital.

According to the Rangers, Hamilton likely caught the virus from his wife and daughters, who have all been sick lately. The Rangers still had their clubhouse sanitized as a precautionary measure on Friday afternoon. They have had a number of players who have had internal viruses over the past month including pitcher Derek Holland, who had to go on the disabled list. Now Hamilton is missing time but the Rangers right now don't see him needing to go on the disabled list.

"I knew that his family was sick and his stomach was bothering him a little bit last night," outfielder David Murphy said. "It's obviously tough when a player like that is not in the lineup. We have plenty of depth and I'm sure we'll get by."

The Rangers called up outfielder Leonys Martin from Triple-A Round Rock on Friday. He went right into the lineup, playing center field and batting ninth. The Rangers called him up over Julio Borbon, Ryan Spilborghs and Joey Butler, three other outfielders who are all playing well for Round Rock.

"He was the guy that was recommended," Washington said. "They say he is playing well. We know he can hit, we know he can run and we know he can throw. So he's the one."

To make room for Martin, the Rangers placed pitcher Koji Uehara on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle under his right armpit. The Rangers were planning to make that move on Saturday to make room for pitcher Justin Grimm, who is scheduled to start against the Astros.

The Rangers will still need to make a move to activate Grimm and Washington said they are still weighing their options.

"It just depends on what we have to use tonight," Washington said. "We haven't talked about it. We will do something. This wasn't planned."

Martin, 24, was hitting .344 (44-128) with five homers, nine doubles, and 22 RBIs in 31 games at Round Rock. He has 15 walks against 22 strikeouts, with a .414 on-base figure and .547 slugging percentage. He has a .394 (13-33) average with runners in scoring position and has seen most of his action in center field.

Martin, who was 3-for-8 as September callup for the Rangers last season, missed over a month on the disabled list May 2-June 6 with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. He suffered the injury when sliding into first base on a bunt single in the fifth inning of a game May 1 vs. New Orleans. Rangers Team Physician Dr. Keith Meister performed surgery to repair the ligament on May 2 at the Medical Center of Arlington.

Hamilton is hitting .330 with a league-leading 22 home runs and 62 RBIs. He also leads the American League with a .674 slugging percentage. Hamilton had to deal with an upper respiratory infection earlier this season that forced him to miss time.

"Hopefully he gets better as soon as possible," designated hitter Michael Young said. "It's part of playing in the big leagues. It's not always smooth sailing. You have to find a way to weather the storm and keep fighting and keep grinding. Last year was a little different.

"Our entire rotation was healthy. We just didn't have many bumps along the way. As a player, you'd like to think when this is all over with and we get everybody else healthy, we'll be better for having gone through something like this. We just have to get everyone healthy."

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