Josh Hamilton went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in his debut against the Texas Rangers Friday afternoon in Arlington.
The 31-year-old outfielder, who signed a five-year, $125 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels in December, has now gone 1-for-16 to start the season, including eight strikeouts.
Hamilton was booed in his return to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, making matters worse for the five-time All-Star.
Hamilton said, via Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:
Hamilton: "It probably hurts a little more to know people will turn that quickly. To think they kind of supported you .. tells you a lot."— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) April 5, 2013
Obviously, it's still very early in the 2013 campaign, and you figure the talented slugger will get it going eventually, but the Angels are obviously hoping to not see a repeat of Albert Pujols' 2012 situation. Pujols managed to belt out 30 home runs and notch 105 RBI, but he also hit .285 (a career low for him).
There's no sense in overreacting to Hamilton's slow start, even if his "slump" continues for a while, but you can't help but think of all the mega-long-term deals that destroyed clubs in the past when you see him struggling.
Hamilton hit .285 with 43 home runs, 128 RBI and 103 runs in his contract year last season. He was a monster throughout most of the regular season, but he didn't show up in the one-game playoff against the Baltimore Orioles. With more money in his pocket now, he's going to be expected to step up when it matters most.