Hamilton returns, will probably be ‘a little antsy’ …

Josh HamiltonJosh Hamilton, as expected, was activated off the disabled list after an eight-week recovery from surgery on his left thumb Tuesday, giving the Angels a full lineup for the first time since he went down on April 8. Here’s a partial transcript of what he had to say …

Did it feel like eight weeks?

No, it didn’t. If I didn’t have my family with me it would’ve probably felt really long. That was the thing that made it pass by quickly.

Any changes in your approach sliding into first base?

I’m going to give it a break for a while. … I’m not going to change the way I play. I’ll get smarter as far as trying to know when to do things and when not to do things. … Know the situation, know the importance of the game. All of those things. … You want to be here for the long haul, you want to play as many games as possible. I never thought about it as far as sliding, because I’ve never been hurt sliding.

What were your thoughts the way they played while you were out?

I told [Mike Scioscia] I’ll sit out for a while [joking]. But it’s good to see young guys come in and fill a spot and do it well enough to keep you where you are in the standings or moving forward. The guys have done a good job moving us forward. And that’s what being on a championship team is all about. You have depth and guys come in and do that.

Can you play the field every day?

I told [Scioscia], ‘When I come up, don’t be taking me out of the lineup. Just let me go out there and play.’ That’s the way I’ve always felt.

Is your rehab assignment enough time to know if your rhythm and timing are there like it was early in the year?

You go by the at-bats you had. I’ve been having good results, good swings. It felt good. I hit the ball the other way — line drives, six-hole, left field, pulled the ball, hit balls up the middle, hit changeups, fastballs, curveballs, all of the above.

Do you expect a learning curve?

I don’t know about a learning curve. Probably a little antsy. That’s the biggest thing. Because you’ve been out of the mix as far as being in the stadiums, the crowds, all of the above. So, coming back, slowing the game down and being relaxed is key.

What are your expectations on this lineup at full strength?

Just continue to build what they’ve been doing. Throwing me back in the mix should help, but as a team, collectively, you still have to produce and perform on a consistent basis. That’s what I hope and expect, as we continue to get better and perform, and the chemistry continues to get better and better. And if it does that, we’ll be right there at the end.

  • In a pretty surprising move, the Angels called up right-handed reliever Cam Bedrosian from Double-A Arkansas and optioned Michael Kohn. Bedrosian, ranked 13th in the Angels’ system by MLB.com, had a 1.12 ERA in 24 appearances for Class A Advanced Inland Empire and Double-A Arkansas this year. The 22-year-old struck out 45 batters in 24 innings. Kohn had given up six runs in his last 4 1/3 innings, walking nine batters in that stretch.
  • Mike Trout returned to the lineup after missing the Saturday and Sunday game due to a back injury. The Angels’ center fielder got some stem-cell therapy done during the team’s off day on Monday, took some early batting practice in the cage on Tuesday and “didn’t feel it at all.” “I was worried about it for a little bit,” Trout said. “But I felt good in early BP. I’m in there. That’s always good.”
  • Dane De La Rosa exceeded the maximum amount of time he can be on a rehab assignment, so the Angels activated him off the DL — then optioned him to Triple-A because they don’t deem him ready to rejoin their bullpen just yet.
  • The Yankees claimed left-hander Wade LeBlanc, who was designated for assignment on Saturday because the Angels needed some length out of the bullpen to cover them for a couple of days. That’s a tough blow to their organizational starting pitching depth, and they only ended up needing two-thirds of an inning out of Jarrett Grube.

Angels (30-26)

Kole Calhoun, RF
Trout, CF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Hamilton, LF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Raul Ibanez, DH
David Freese, 3B
Chris Iannetta, C
Erick Aybar, SS

SP: LH C.J. Wilson (6-4, 3.05 ERA)

Astros (24-34)

Dexter Fowler, CF
Jose Altuve, 2B
George Springer, RF
Jason Castro, C
Matt Dominguez, 3B
Jonathan Singleton, 1B
Chris Carter, DH
Robbie Grossman, LF
Jonathan Villar, SS

SP: RH Collin McHugh (3-3, 2.80 ERA)


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