Before Ian Desmond signed a one-year deal to try out left field for the Texas Rangers over the weekend, Josh Hamilton had a job as soon as and if he is ever healthy again. The Rangers had no real option in the matter.
Now, they have options with a former all-star in Desmond, who general manager Jon Daniels has proclaimed the Rangers' starter in left field. So what's that mean for Hamilton? Well, Daniels joined 103.3 FM to discuss the duo and their roles moving forward.
Here's what Daniels had to say:
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I hope Ian's playing well and come May, Josh is healthy and ready to roll. Even before the last few weeks where Josh's knee acted up again, internally we were all discussing what is the right number of games for Josh and I don't think anyone felt like it was 150. At 34, going to be 35, he's had multiple knee surgeries, he's 240-plus pounds, a big man on a knee that's had some issues.
Even before the last few weeks, all off-season we've been of the mindset that we were going to have to monitor his playing time. What we've talked to Josh about is let's really focus on getting healthy. If you're healthy and you come back and you're playing the way you're capable of playing, I'm very confident we'll sort it out. I'm very confident that we'll find spots where Josh can play and contribute to the club and at the same time still protect his body.
Whether that means getting at-bats as a designated hitter to give Mitch Moreland or Prince Fielder a breather or what, the Rangers would love nothing more than for Hamilton to get healthy and be productive. But the chances of that aren't strong. Here's the one thing the Rangers can't afford: Desmond being terrible again and having to count the days until Hamilton's return and relying on him. That's a recipe for disaster.