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04/15/08 1:57 PM ET
Rangers want to keep Hamilton fresh
Manager Washington will move slugger around during season
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Josh Hamilton was in center field on Tuesday for the second straight day, after two games in right field. Hamilton's shuttle between center and right field will be a weekly thing for the rest of the year, manager Ron Washington said. It's part of Washington's plan to keep Hamilton strong and healthy for an entire season. Washington said over the course of a week, he'd like to play Hamilton three to four games in center, two in right and possibly one game at designated hitter. "That's what I'm going to try and do, just to give him a break," Washington said. Hamilton, through Tuesday, has started 10 games in center, two in right and two at designated hitter. Last year with the Reds, Hamilton started 64 games in center, nine in right and two in left. He played in just 90 games overall because of a variety of injuries. Hamilton had missed 3 1/2 seasons prior to that because of his personal issues, and his physical problems last year were attributed at least in part to his body not being used to the grind of a 162-game season. "We want to keep him fresh and keep him going," Washington said. "It's pretty tough playing center field every day and he's a big man." Hamilton might get a day at designated hitter during the Rangers' two-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto. Rogers Centre has artificial turf and that can take a toll on a player's legs and back. Washington said Milton Bradley is only going to play one game there and that will be at designated hitter. Bradley will get the other day off completely, because Washington has concerns about how his surgically-repaired right knee will hold up on the artificial turf. Bradley started in right field on Tuesday against the Angels.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.