The one constant thing I have said about the Texas Rangers all season is that the only thing that can hold them back would be injuries.

Despite the acquisitions of Jorge Cantu, Cristian Guzman, and Bengie Molina—all of whom haven’t worked out, by the way—the Rangers’ roster isn’t as deep as it might appear at first.

The Rangers need all their pieces in place offensively if they are going to get by the New York Yankees or Minnesota Twins in the first round of the playoffs. They are going to especially need OF Josh Hamilton to be healthy once the playoffs start.

Hamilton was diagnosed yesterday with a small stable fracture in his seventh and eighth ribs. He was given an anti-inflammatory injection at the site of the discomfort and an epidural nerve-block injection to manage the pain. All told, Hamilton received six injections yesterday.

That sounds awesome.

What won’t be awesome is if Hamilton can’t go in the first round of the playoffs. Julio Borbon and David Murphy are nice seat fillers, but without Hamilton in the middle of that Rangers lineup, it doesn’t look nearly as formidable.

Murphy is having a nice season (.291/.357/.447 with 11 HRs), and the Boston Red Sox certainly could have used him this year (Murphy was traded to the Rangers in the Eric Gagne trade), but having him in the three hole or having Hamilton in the three hole is the difference between the taste of fried chicken and steamed chicken.

Hamilton won’t know if the shots were effective until about tomorrow. If everything works out, he is hoping to play a couple of games during the final week of the season.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Read more MLB news on