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Rangers’ Delino DeShields out 4-6 weeks with hand injury

Outfielder’s injury shakes up Texas’ lineup, roster plans

MLB: Houston Astros at Texas Rangers Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers outfielder Delino DeShields is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a fractured hamate bone in his left hand, a source told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News first reported the injury.

The news comes a day after DeShields left the Rangers’ game against the Astros after feeling “discomfort“ during a swing in the eighth inning. The Rangers recalled right-handed reliever Nick Gardewine from Triple-A Round Rock to take DeShields’ spot on the roster.

DeShields’ injury is a big blow to him and the Rangers. Playing in his fourth season in Texas, the 25-year-old outfielder is their main leadoff hitter, top center fielder and biggest threat on the base paths. Last year, he slashed .269/.347/.367 with six home runs and 29 stolen bases in 440 plate appearances.

Without DeShields, the Rangers will have to revamp their lineup. According to Grant, shortstop Elvis Andrus is batting at the top of the order on Saturday and is expected to stay there for most of the time that DeShields is sidelined. With Andrus batting first, Grant says Adrian Beltre will bat third and Nomar Mazara will take over the cleanup spot.

As far as center-field duties, the Rangers may use a platoon with Carlos Tocci, Drew Robinson and Ryan Rua. Tocci, a Rule 5 pick who is regarded as the best defensive option, is making his first major-league start on Saturday. Robinson has four career starts, while Rua has one.

Grant also says that DeShields’ injury could lead to fellow outfielder Jurickson Profar getting time in left field and reliever Jose Leclerc being sent down to the minors because they need to make moves for Bartolo Colon and Martin Perez.