ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Josh Hamilton was held out of the Texas Rangers' starting lineup for the third straight game, raising the possibility of a trip to the disabled list.
The All-Star center fielder said Tuesday the ribs he bruised running into an outfield wall in Toronto a week earlier weren't getting better. The Rangers opened a three-game series against Oakland on Tuesday night.
Hamilton left in the fifth inning of Saturday's game at Baltimore and didn't start Sunday or Monday against the Orioles. Monday was the first time Hamilton sat out the entire game since the injury.
Hamilton was to be evaluated by team physician Dr. Keith Meister. He entered Tuesday hitting .242 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in 66 at-bats.
Texas Rangers' Byrd in center field as Hamilton sits
10:17 AM CDT on Wednesday, April 29, 2009
ARLINGTON – Andruw Jones has 10 Gold Gloves, but he won't be playing center field in Josh Hamilton's absence.
That spot will go to Marlon Byrd, who started in center Tuesday night while Hamilton rested.
"This is my call," manager Ron Washington said.
Jones started in left field for the second consecutive game Tuesday. In Monday's game against Baltimore, Jones was pulled late for a defensive replacement. The Rangers shifted David Murphy from right to left and inserted Nelson Cruz in right.
"Marlon has been here playing center field for us for the past three years, and I thought he's been doing a great job," Washington said. "I'm going to go with the guys who I think are beneficial for me. Right now, it's Marlon. It's nothing against Andruw."
Rupe to be starter in minors: Right-hander Josh Rupe cleared waivers and will once again have a chance to start when he heads to Oklahoma City. Rupe, who was designated for assignment to make room for Derek Holland, is heading to Surprise, Ariz., for extended spring training.
Rupe was a starter as recently as 2007 but spent last year and the start of this season as a reliever. He had a 15.43 ERA in four appearances this year.
"Starting is something that I have wanted to go back to doing," Rupe wrote in a text message. "I never really wanted to stop. ... Now I just have to get to work and prove myself again."
Benson throws, feels fine: Right-hander Kris Benson, who is on the disabled list with elbow tendinitis, threw a bullpen session Tuesday and hopes to be activated Friday when he's eligible to come off the DL. Benson threw 45 pitches without pain.
Benson's spot in the rotation has been taken by Scott Feldman, who is scheduled to start on Thursday. Benson (1-1, 9.00 ERA) said he believes he would be ready to start Friday.
"It's not a major injury to begin with," he said. "It was more of a lingering issue that they wanted to take care of early in the season."
Benson said his arm has gotten better every day since he was put on he DL.
Padilla up to speed: The missing velocity apparently has returned for starter Vicente Padilla. Washington said Padilla was throwing 94-95 mph in last Friday's start against Baltimore.
Washington is hoping for more of the same tonight when Padilla (1-1, 8.27 ERA) starts against Oakland.
Briefly: Josh Hamilton will be featured in a "This is SportsCenter" commercial that begins airing Friday on ESPN. The spot was filmed last fall. ... Oakland's Mark Ellis and Nomar Garciaparra each left Tuesday's game with a calf injury.