Rangers' Kinsler shut down for season
Ian Kinsler's breakout season is done.
The Texas Rangers' All-Star second baseman will have season-ending surgery next week to repair a sports hernia.
"I really didn't have a decision," Kinsler said Friday. "If I want to fix this injury, then I have to have surgery."
Kinsler last played Aug. 17 and was put on the disabled list the next day after an MRI revealed the injury. Kinsler hoped to avoid surgery and possibly play again this season. But things weren't progressing as he expected, and the Rangers are out of the playoff chase.
"If I really had to play, if there was something on the line and I really needed to push my body, I could do it," Kinsler said.
"But right now, it's not helping anyone. It's not helping myself; it's not helping the club. I need to be ready for this off-season to get ready for next spring. That's basically what I'm looking at."
The surgery is scheduled for Thursday in Dallas.
While Kinsler's season is officially done, rookie outfielder David Murphy took batting practice on the field Friday and is hoping to return this year. Murphy has been out since spraining his right knee in a home plate collision on Aug. 7.
Rookie right-hander Doug Mathis, out since mid-June, will have a surgery on his right shoulder next week.
Kinsler, in his third major league season, was a first-time All-Star and hit .319 with 18 homers, 71 RBIs and 41 doubles in 121 games. The Rangers' leadoff hitter also had 26 steals.
"You want to talk about an MVP. He was certainly our MVP," manager Ron Washington said. "He got things started. He had an excellent year. I just wish he could have finished it. No telling what his numbers would have looked like."
Kinsler is still fourth in the AL batting race and already has enough plate appearances to be eligible for the title without playing another game. Boston's Dustin Pedroia, in Texas for the start of the weekend series Friday night, was leading the AL with a .333 average with Rangers designated hitter Milton Bradley second at .327.
"I'm rooting for Milton," Kinsler said.
Kinsler was leading the majors with 102 runs scored when he got hurt. Despite not playing for nearly three weeks, he was still ranked second in the AL and fourth in the majors.
"It was a big season for me. I think I always felt I could be a premier player in this league," Kinsler said. "To be able to do it this year definitely put me over the hump mentally with what I thought I could do in this league."
Murphy, hitting .275 with 15 homers and an AL rookie-best 74 RBIs in 108 games, got hurt when he collided with New York Yankees catcher Ivan Rodriguez on Aug. 6. Murphy has been hampered in his comeback because he still hasn't been able to run without pain.
Washington said Murphy will play "only if he's healthy 100 per cent. He hasn't given up yet. But we don't need him to go out and get hurt."