The Rangers may finally start seeing the team on the field they envision during spring training.
Adrian Beltre is back at third after starting the season on the disabled list. Centerfielder Carlos Gomez and first baseman Mike Napoli returned to the lineup on Friday after their stints on the DL. Tyson Ross is finally healthy and made his first start on the mound wearing a Rangers uniform, allowing two runs in just over five innings of work with five strikeouts in the Rangers' 10-4 win over the Seattle Mariners.
Things are now looking better for a team that many were ready to bury a couple of weeks ago. However, there’s still one piece missing.
Pitcher Cole Hamels made his rehab start for Double-A Frisco on Friday and looked like Cole Hamels in the process. The lefty retired nine of the 10 hitters he faced on 35 pitches and appeared to have all of his arsenal working. He finished with three scoreless innings with three strikeouts in front of full house at Dr. Pepper Ballpark. The Roughriders would walk away with the 4-2 win over the San Antonio Missions.
Hamels has been out of the rotation since early May with a right oblique strain suffered before his scheduled start against the division-leading Houston Astros. Prior to the injury, the ace was 2-0 with a 3.03 ERA in five starts. Hamels is likely down for one more rehab start before re-joining the Rangers.
However, the oblique strain issue that has caused problems this season struck the Rangers once again, forcing Andrew Cashner on the DL. No word yet on who will take the bump on Tuesday, which was Cashner’s next scheduled start. A.J. Griffin is still a couple of weeks away from throwing off a mound due to his oblique injury.
The return of Ross and the impending return of Hamels couldn’t come at a better time for a team that is in the hunt for a playoff spot in October.