HOUSTON -- The Rangers are going to be without left-hander Cole Hamels for at least eight weeks after he was diagnosed with a strained right oblique muscle.
That's the latest injury news for a team that still doesn't know when third baseman Adrian Beltre will return from a strained right calf muscle, but general manager Jon Daniels refused to describe his team as being snakebit.
"No, that's a loser's mentality," Daniels said. "This is baseball. These things happen. You prepare for them by building depth. Obviously you don't snap your fingers and replace Cole Hamels. But we've got quality people who can step in and do the job. Adversity is part of it. We'll continue to push forward. Looking at it any other way is setting up for failure."
Hamels was scratched from Tuesday's start against the Astros when he felt a sharp pain in his right side. He was placed on the disabled list Wednesday, and reliever Anthony Bass was called up from Triple-A Round Rock to reinforce the Rangers' bullpen.
A.J. Griffin will be activated off the disabled list on Thursday and replace Hamels in a rotation that also includes Nick Martinez, Yu Darvish, Martin Perez and Andrew Cashner.
"Obviously not the news we wanted but that's the news we got," Daniels said. "We have dealt with this before. We have dealt with worse. Obviously it's a challenge but one we will push through. There are no magic elixirs and no shortcuts."
Beltre has been on the disabled list since the start of the season and is not with the Rangers on this road trip. The Rangers elected to keep him in Arlington, where he can take advantage of advanced medical equipment and a soft-tissue specialist. The Rangers have also turned to the Dallas Mavericks for advice because NBA players tend to be more susceptible to this kind of injury.
"The priority is to get his leg right," Daniels said of Beltre. "He is in the process of building up. He is not running yet, even though he is feeling well. We don't have a specific date. Optimistically, we are looking at the end of May."
The Rangers have had their share of injuries, but that has been the situation in each of the past two seasons and they still won the American League West title.
"Any time you lose any player, but when you lose a Darvish or a Beltre, a Hamels ... there are certain waves that move across the clubhouse," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "You need those type of players out on the field performing for you because they are elite performers. However, there are times when those type of things can galvanize a club and put them back into kind of the spot they need to be -- where they perform best -- and that's as a group.
"That's why baseball season is so fascinating. Are you going to turn to the snakebit mentality or are you going to toughen up and move through it? I choose to toughen up and move through it."
Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
Hamels should be retained in all leagues on the expectation that he will show his top form during the summer months, despite this injury. With a lifetime 3.31 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP, the left-hander has displayed the skills to make a major fantasy impact across a partial season. Shallow-league owners seeking a replacement can check waivers for a pitcher such as Francisco Liriano or Eduardo Rodriguez. Meanwhile, those in deeper leagues should take a look at Dan Straily, Alex Wood or Mike Foltynewicz.