Kinsler's move to the DL is retroactive to Wednesday. Kinsler did not play in Wednesday's loss, with Andres Blanco starting at second base. The Rangers recalled first baseman Mitch Moreland from Triple-A Oklahoma City to take Kinsler's place in time for Thursday's series finale with Oakland. Joaquin Arias got the start at second base, his 14th of the season.
Kinsler is hitting .298 with six home runs and 38 RBIs in 76 games. He reached base in 25 straight games before going 0-for-5 against the A's on Tuesday night. He will be eligible to come off the disabled list Aug. 12. He started the season on the disabled list with a high ankle sprain.
The trade was made to add a right-handed hitting first baseman. Cantu came up as a second baseman and could be an option.
"He does have some track record there, so it's a possibility," general manager Jon Daniels said. "But this had nothing to do with Ian."
Cantu said he's more comfortable at first base, but he's willing to do whatever the team wants.
"I'll talk to [the Rangers] and we'll see where we go from there," he said.
Rangers manager Ron Washington said Kinsler experienced the groin problem for the past three days. The team decided to shut Kinsler down following an MRI on Wednesday, hoping the injury will heal in the next two weeks.
"Anytime you strain a groin, it's serious," Washington said. "He's been playing with it. But this is too important. We want to have him down the stretch. We need him to play. We don't want a sprain to become a pull. This way we can get the 15 days and get it over with. It would be easy for something to get worse."
Hamilton was the No. 3 hitter for 61 games last season.
Moreland, 24, was hitting .289 with 12 homers and 65 RBIs in 95 games for the RedHawks this season. Moreland was selected in the 17th round of the 2007 draft.
Moreland was notified about his call-up late Wednesday night. He got up early on Thursday and drove from Oklahoma City to Arlington to join his new team.
"Since I could walk, this is what I've wanted to do," Moreland said. "I woke up, packed up what I could, and got here as fast as I could."
Moreland wound up going 2-for-4 in his debut Thursday night. After the game, the Rangers sent first baseman Chris Davis to Oklahoma City to clear room for Cantu.
To clear space for Moreland on the 40-man roster, the Rangers put reliever Mark Lowe, acquired from Seattle in the Cliff Lee trade, on the 60-day disabled list. Lowe has been on the DL since May 3 with a back injury that required surgery.