Three weeks ago, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton strained his left calf. Tomorrow, he is set to make his first appearance according to a report by Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times. This leaves Hamilton two weeks to prepare for the upcoming season. The Halos have a dozen spring games remaining, so Hamilton should get a fair number of plate appearances over that time.
If Hamilton averages 3 PA per game, that’s 36. Last spring, Hamilton racked up 60 AB in the 21 games in which he appeared. There’s also the case of utilizing him in minor league games as well, so that shouldn’t be a concern. Neither Hamilton nor Angels manager Mike Scioscia have expressed concern about Hamilton getting the needed work. As Scioscia told Shaikin, the club “complement it”. That could mean Hamilton appearing in some minor league games as well, if necessary.
The pair also wasn’t concerned about Hamilton being ready for Opening Day either.
A healthy Hamilton is a must for the Angels this season. A more productive season than last year would be a welcome sight as the club is expected to be a contender for at least a wild card spot. I’m sure they would take a season similar to the last one he posted as a member of Texas Rangers (.285/.354/.577, 43 HR, 128 RBI). Who wouldn’t take that.
In the bigger picture, the Angels should also contend for the AL West title along with the Oakland A’s and Hamilton’s former team, the Rangers.