Josh Hamilton Injury: Why the Texas Rangers Will Be OK in the AL West

Adam Hirshfield@ahirshfieldFeatured ColumnistApril 13, 2011

BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 10: Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers walks to the outfield after the end of the seventh inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 10, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Josh Hamilton injured his right shoulder on Tuesday sliding into home plate against the Tigers as he tried to score from third base after tagging up on a foul pop up down the third-base line when it appeared that no Tigers were covering home.

Reports suggest that the reigning AL Most Valuable Player will miss up to eight weeks with a fractured upper right arm.

Obviously, it will hurt the defending AL champs’ lineup to be without a guy who hit .359 with 32 home runs and 100 RBIs in 2010.

But worry not, Rangers fans. Have you seen the division you’re in?

The Mariners are effectively a minor-league team aside from Ichiro Suzuki and AL Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez.

The A’s have shown some promise, especially with their solid, young pitching staff. But their lineup is something less than formidable, and third-spot hitter David De Jesus would probably be on the bench for the Rangers.

The Angels are mildly interesting and have a solid lineup and several decent hurlers, including Dan Haren, whose one-hit shutout of the Indians on Tuesday improved the Halos’ mark to 6-5 on the season.

But the Rangers still stand atop the heap at 9-2, even after Tuesday’s setback in the Motor City. Their lineup is solid, their pitching staff is young but powerful and exciting and Ron Washington is the perfect leader for this kind of brash, scrappy group.

So can they keep it together without Hamilton?

“Obviously, he’s a big part of our club,” Texas GM Jon Daniels told the Associated Press. “[But] we built the club to deal with something like this.”

The Rangers should be fine for a bit without their leader, but they’ll certainly welcome him back with open arms.

Just be careful with that shoulder.