Josh Hamilton could be another week from getting back to the majors with the Texas Rangers.
Texas general manager Jon Daniels said Sunday that Hamilton is "clearly making progress" in the slugger's personal spring training since being re-acquired three weeks ago in a trade from the Los Angeles Angles.
Daniels initially said Hamilton's return would probably be in New York or Cleveland, both part of the upcoming nine-game trip. He later said it was probably "more likely" that it would be the series at the Indians, which starts a week from Monday.
The Rangers have Monday off before a three-game series in Boston. They go to New York for a three-game weekend series against the Yankees and then play three games in Cleveland. Their next home game is May 28 against the Red Sox.
"Last week he was going through the sore back and heavy legs and all the normal stuff," Daniels said. "This is, we're March 5th, March 10th for him, and then I think just offensively, getting his timing down. ... I'd err on the side of giving him some additional time."
Daniels said there were no concerns about Hamilton making his season debut in Yankee Stadium and the large media presence in New York.
"That's not going to be a factor in our decision," he said.
Texas re-acquired Hamilton in a trade from the Los Angeles Angels on April 27, and the next day reported to Arizona for extended spring training. The 2010 AL MVP and a five-time All-Star, Hamilton had shoulder surgery in February and didn't go to spring training with the Angels. He spent five days with Triple-A Round Rock before reporting to Double-A Frisco on Saturday, when he went 4 for 5 with four runs scored and an RBI.
"The report was good -- not so much the box score, but felt like his swings are better, his takes are better, his at-bats were better. He's made progress," Daniels said. "I don't put a whole lot into, it's kind of like on March 10 evaluating a spring training game. You don't want to overdo it."
Hamilton was scheduled to play for Frisco again Sunday, then take Monday off before games with the RoughRiders again Tuesday and Wednesday in the Dallas suburb about 40 miles from the Rangers' home ballpark. The Rangers have said they will re-evaluate after that
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