Hamilton has ‘incredible’ workout …

Josh HamiltonJosh Hamilton finally took a turn in a positive direction early Monday afternoon, when he took batting practice on the field and ran the bases prior to the series opener against the Mariners.

Hamilton, out since Sept. 4 with stiffness that began in his right AC joint and moved to the area around his trapezius muscle, could return to the Angels’ lineup as soon as Wednesday.

“Hopefully this is a breakthrough day for him as far as his health,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “His workout was incredible.”

Hamilton took swings off the tee in the batting cage, then three rounds of early BP on the field. There was “no pain, no soreness, just a little tightness,” Hamilton said.

“If I do what I did today tomorrow,” Hamilton added, “and you come back the next day feeling like I came in today, then I wouldn’t see a problem with at least DHing the first couple of games. I hadn’t picked up a glove since Texas because I hit in Texas [on Tuesday], it tightened up a little bit and I started throwing and just the movement of the glove fired it up. That’ll be something to work in here in the next couple of days.”

Hamilton has taken two rounds of cortisone shots and eight days ago received some trigger-point injections to relieve some of the knots in his muscle. Lately, though, they’ve backed up on a lot of the treatment to “let the body try to heal itself,” Hamilton said.

The 33-year-old — batting .263 with 10 homers and 44 RBIs in 88 games — made a link to 2010, when he missed 24 games with a rib injury and didn’t return until the start of October, playing three games against the Angels and then finding his timing again in the postseason.

“I talked to Scioscia about, even before this injury, kind of having the same approach of Spring Training — have good at-bats, see pitches, barrel balls up,” Hamilton said. “During the season, you kind of get caught up in the numbers aspect of things. I’m at that point in the season now that I’m coming back and it’s going to be like Spring Training.”

Hamilton won’t bat cleanup when he returns, with Scioscia saying he’ll “most likely get in the lineup in a spot where he can get some at-bats without carrying the burden of hitting in the middle of the lineup.” The question is whether Hamilton will be the cleanup hitter once the postseason begins.

That’ll depend on how he looks over these next couple weeks.

“At some point,” Scioscia said, “we know our lineup needs him in the middle.”

Here’s the lefty-stacked lineup against Mariners righty Hisashi Iwakuma, who’s 5-0 with a 1.64 ERA in 49 1/3 career innings against the Angels (Mariners lineup). With a win, the Angels clinch a playoff berth …

Kole Calhoun, RF
Mike Trout, CF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Erick Aybar, SS
David Freese, 3B
Brennan Boesch, DH
Hank Conger, C
Efren Navarro, LF

SP: RH Matt Shoemaker (15-4, 3.16 ERA)

Alden

6 Comments

Why does Scioscia keep playing Boesch? He’s terrible and should not be in the lineup! Why not Green, Cowgill, or Cron? If Angel fans wanted lack of productivity in the DH spot we would have been devastated by Ibanez being cut!

Probably because he has a hunch that it will help us win. Boesch? As they say, “he’s due.” So far Mike’s hunches have only resulted in the best record in the major leagues. Therefore your question is moot.

He wants Left handed batters in the lineup

I have been a loyal Angel fan now for 47 years. Love ’em. What a season… I don’t get to see many games because I live in Tennessee but I have bought the MLB.TV package for this later part of the year. Now, I have a question I hope someone – hopefully you Alden or one of your other follows, can answer: whenever the Angels get a key hit, home run, score a run, whatever… they put their hands above their head hold them like they are gripping something large. What does that mean? I know it is probably something one of the guys thought up that all the team is aware of… but I have not a clue.

Players are only saying that it is a “clubhouse thing.” Anybody who says anything else is just guessing.

Thanks jchc3in1 – I appreciate your input. Interesting handle you have… does it mean anything special? I see a Christian connection but I’m only guessing.Are you a Christian?

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