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05/01/09 6:17 PM ET

Rangers place Hamilton on DL

Move expedited due to Saltalamacchia's inavailability

The Rangers placed outfielder Josh Hamilton on the 15-day disabled list with a strained rib cage muscle and recalled catcher Max Ramirez from Triple-A Oklahoma on Friday.

Hamilton's DL stint is retroactive to April 25. He is eligible to come off the DL on May 12, when the Rangers start a crucial homestand with AL West-rival Seattle. Hamilton last pinch-hit in Sunday's game at Baltimore. He is batting .242 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in 18 games this season. This is the third DL stint of his career.

Hamilton had been showing enough improvement in recent days to avoid the disabled list. But with the need for a second catcher -- with starter Jarrod Saltalamacchia out for Friday's game against the Chicago White Sox with irritation in both eyes -- and with Hamilton reporting a little soreness after running on a treadmill Friday, the Rangers decided to go ahead and put him on the DL.

"I want to take care of it," Hamilton said before Friday's game. "Not push it. I'll just go day-to-day and see how it feels."

Hamilton, who sustained the injury April 21 in Toronto, last started Saturday against the Orioles in Baltimore. He pinch-hit Sunday, but he hasn't played since then. Hamilton is hoping to resume swinging a bat soon.

Hamilton will travel with the team next week to Seattle, Oakland and Chicago and continue to get treatment.

The decision to put Hamilton on the DL was expedited by the Rangers needing a catcher for Friday's game with the Chicago White Sox. Saltalamacchia stayed at home Friday because of eye irritation believed to be caused by contact solution.

But putting Hamilton on the DL was a foregone conclusion.

"Josh isn't ready to play," general manager Jon Daniels said. "If we had waited a day, we would have had the same outcome."

Hamilton said the ribs are feeling better, but he still can't swing a bat without pain.

Hamilton also said he runs into a lot of walls, and while he won't change the way he plays the game, he wants to be there on the field with his teammates. He said playing right field is not an option.

"There's some lesson to be learned here," Hamilton said.

Hamilton said he watched the video with trainer Jamie Reed on Friday afternoon. He said after seeing it a few times that he crashed into the wall a little higher up on his rib cage than he first believed.

Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.