Notes: Hairston may be out for season

Notes: Hairston may be out for season

ARLINGTON -- Jerry Hairston may be done for the season.

The Rangers placed him on the 15-day disabled list with a sore back on Wednesday. Hairston has been battling back problems since Opening Day and it never got better.

"It's disappointing because I thought I'd have a good year," Hairston said. "I was able to tolerate it, but to play at this level, you want to be at your best. I couldn't even throw a ball from the outfield -- but, I'm not saying I got a cannon."

Hairston said his back bothered him most when he was hitting. He has a .195 average with three home runs and 13 RBIs. Hairston and hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo tried to work on hitting adjustments so his back would not bother him, but to no avail.

Hairston pinch-ran on Tuesday and stole a base. His last start was on Sunday in Toronto. Rangers team physician Keith Meister was scheduled to examine Hairston on Wednesday.

"I don't know how long it will take, a month or three months, I don't know," Hairston said. "But, I don't want to have surgery."

Hairston met with Blue Jays outfielder Reed Johnson, who was sidelined with a back injury earlier this season, and also plans on talking with Oakland outfielder Mark Kotsay, who also has been bothered by a bad back. Kotsay had back surgery in Spring Training and was activated June 1.

"I want to talk with guys who have gone through it," Hairston said.

The Rangers have not called any player up in Hairston's place because Triple-A Oklahoma is currently on the road and the player wouldn't be able to join the team before Wednesday's game against Oakland. The Rangers are off Thursday, and are currently discussing whom to bring up before Friday's game against Tampa Bay. One possibility is center fielder David Murphy, who was acquired in the Eric Gagne trade with the Red Sox and is on the 40-man roster.

Padilla near return: There is a strong possibility Vicente Padilla will return to the Rangers' rotation Aug. 15 against Kansas City. Padilla is scheduled to throw 65 pitches in a medical rehabilitation assignment game at Double-A Frisco Friday. If Padilla gets through the game with no physical problems, he will return to the rotation.

"It's time for him to come and start helping us," Washington said. "He's been away for long enough. But, it's not a definite [he'll start]."

Pitching coach Mark Connor said the Rangers would have Padilla on a 75-pitch count if he started.

Padilla was placed on the disabled list June 25 with right triceps irritation.

Sosa backs Bonds: Sammy Sosa was glad to see Barry Bonds become the new home run king on Tuesday.

"I'm happy he got there, he owned the place," Sosa said. "The only thing I can say is he is one of the greats during my era."

Sosa, who joined the 600 home run club earlier this season, thinks Bonds could reach 800 home runs.

"There's a chance he can do it," Sosa said. "To me, he's a great person. Some people say negative things, but I've never seen this guy doing anything. He's a great person and a great player. I'm very happy for Barry Bonds."

He said it: "It was awesome, I didn't know nothing about it. I played in Chicago for so many years, the city and organization was great to me, but they only have one thing from me -- the ball when I hit 62 home runs [in 1998]. [The Rangers] really touched my heart, I'm shocked and surprised." -- Sosa on his 600 home run exhibit in the Legends of the Game Museum.

Briefly: Kameron Loe threw a 35-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday. He is scheduled to throw one more bullpen on Friday before making a one-game rehab assignment, most likely Sunday or Monday at Double-A Frisco. ... Backup catcher Adam Melhuse started at third base on Wednesday. "I think my role has changed because catching is few and far between. These last couple of months, I'll grind it out and see if I'm in the plans for next year or not."

Tuesday's Minor League stars:

Gold: First baseman Nate Gold belted two home runs for four RBIs leading Triple-A Oklahoma past Sacramento, 7-3.

Silver: Left-hander Yoon-Hee Nam pitched three perfect relief innings, picking up his fourth win as the Arizona Rookie League Rangers defeated the Royals, 8-2, in the second game of a double-header. The Rangers lost the first game against the Royals, 7-5.

Bronze: Right-hander Robinson Tejeda allowed two runs on five hits with eight strikeouts in Oklahoma's victory. Tejeda is 1-2 since his demotion.

Up next: After an off-day on Thursday, the Rangers open a three-game home series against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays Friday at 7:35 p.m. CT at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Right-hander Brandon McCarthy pitches for the Rangers against right-hander Andy Sonnanstine of the Devil Rays.

Drew Davison is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.