Hamilton: ‘It sucks not being out there with them’

Josh Hamilton, Luis JimenezWednesday marked the sixth straight day that Josh Hamilton missed a game with a stiff right shoulder that has shown no signs of getting any better. He took 40 to 50 swings in the batting cage early Tuesday afternoon, “felt OK,” then went outside to throw and “just having the glove on my hand, lifting it up kind of set it off again, so I shut it down.”

So Hamilton took two more cortisone shots, in addition to the one he took when he exited Thursday’s game in the middle of the eighth inning, and is searching for any signs that this is actually moving in the right direction.

“I’m usually never sore after cortisone shots,” Hamilton said. “The fact that I am might be a good thing, especially when you have the right spot.”

If the ailment persists when the Angels return to Southern California on Friday, Hamilton will get an MRI. Asked if he’s concerned this could be a prolonged injury, the 33-year-old outfielder said: “If I go a couple more days and I’m still not any better, then you start getting concerned.”

“Hopefully I wake up tomorrow and feel better and the next day, too,” Hamilton added. “I’m still doing some biking and stuff in my legs, and I’ve been here since 1 o’clock doing treatment on my arm and my neck.”

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he’s “not anymore concerned [on Wednesday] than I was yesterday,” but that’s because he was really concerned when Hamilton was out of the lineup Tuesday. Scioscia, at least, can take comfort in the fact that his offense hasn’t skipped a beat without its cleanup hitter, amassing 50 runs over the last five games and outscoring opponents by 25 runs over the last three nights.

For now, Hamilton is merely a spectator.

“Obviously it’s frustrating, but it’s exciting just to still be here and get to watch the game,” said Hamilton, batting .263 with 10 homers and 44 RBIs in 88 games. “It sucks not being out there with them, given that they’re playing that well. It’s still a blessing to be here and watch it.”

Alden

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