Slugger Josh Hamilton hopes to return to the Texas Rangers lineup by Friday, though the American League West champions will go into the playoffs without reliever Frank Francisco.
Hamilton took swings in the batting cage for the third straight day Wednesday, hitting 10 balls off a tee and about 40 tossed balls. The majors’ leading hitter (.361) took the last few swings at nearly full speed and says he felt good.
Francisco, out since Aug. 28 because of a muscle strain in his right side, is not ready to pitch off a mound yet. Manager Ron Washington said a third MRI exam done Tuesday showed improvement, but not enough for the right-hander to do more than throw off flat ground.
TIGERS SHUT DOWN CABRERA
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Miguel Cabrera’s MVP-caliber season for the Detroit Tigers is over.
Cabrera, who leads the majors with 126 RBI and is among the AL leaders in several other offensive categories, has a sprained right ankle.
Manager Jim Leyland announced before the start of a doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians that Cabrera will not play again in 2010.
“It seems strange not putting Cabrera’s name in there,” Leyland said before the Tigers were blanked 1-0 by the Indians in the opener. “It wasn’t broken. That’s a blessing. He’s got a long time to heal up.”
TWINS’ MORNEAU TO WORK OUT
Justin Morneau, who has been out since July 7 because of a concussion, will work out with the Minnesota Twins today at Target Field.
Manager Ron Gardenhire called it “absolutely” the most encouraging news the Twins have received on Morneau in weeks. He didn’t give any indication of the first baseman’s status for the postseason, asking everyone to wait and see how the workout goes.
“He had a really good day again today,” Gardenhire said Wednesday before a game against the Kansas City Royals. “That’s four days in a row. He’ll be on the field working out with us tomorrow, a full workout, taking ground balls and BP (batting practice).
“We’ll have to see how that goes. We’ll have to see what the doctors report. He’s going to work out with us tomorrow. Let’s see what happens. No expectations.”
Carlos Beltran’s abbreviated season is over after an MRI on the Mets slugger showed he has mild inflammation in his surgically repaired right knee. … Lawyers from Major League Baseball and the players association will meet today to discuss the grievance filed after the New York Mets withheld salary from injured closer Francisco Rodriguez. … Third baseman Placido Polanco is expected to rejoin the Phillies for this weekend’s season-ending series at Atlanta after getting a cortisone shot in his left elbow.