Updates from Tuesday, March 18
"It was good, man," Hamilton said. "It felt good just to get on the base, steal, and then do things that you're supposed to do as a player on the field. It was good overall."
Hamilton said Sunday that starting the season on the disabled list "isn't even on the table," even though he typically likes to get somewhere between 45 and 55 at-bats to be ready for the regular season and only 11 exhibition games remain.
Gonzalez continued with a statement from Angels manager Mike Scioscia:
"A great first step" is what Angels manager Mike Scioscia called it -- but many more remain.
"There's still some hurdles. You want him to get his at-bats up where they are, he's got to go out there and play left field, you're going to need recovery days here and there. But we'll see how it goes. We're not going to get too far ahead right now."
Gonzalez also provided analysis from Hamilton's latest game:
Hamilton went 1-for-3 as the designated hitter at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Monday, his first game back from a strained left calf. He grounded into a 4-6 fielder's choice while swinging on 2-0 his first time up, then swung at the very first pitch in his next two plate appearances -- resulting in a short-hop off the glove of Giants first baseman Mark Minicozzi and a hard liner right into the glove of right fielder Hunter Pence.
Updates from Sunday, March 16
Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register has the latest on Josh Hamilton's return to the Angels' lineup:
Josh Hamilton said he will make his spring debut Monday and he expects to be ready for opening day. #Angels— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) March 16, 2014
Updates from Friday, March 14
Orange County Register reporter Jeff Fletcher has the latest on Hamilton:
Josh Hamilton said he expects to run bases Sat. That's the last step before playing. Looks like Monday or Weds, at latest (off Tue) #Angels— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) March 14, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, March 11
Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register has the latest on Josh Hamilton's rehab and return:
Josh Hamilton won't be ready to play before Sunday, Scioscia said #angels— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) March 11, 2014
Updates from Saturday, March 8
Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register has the latest update on Hamilton's status:
Mike Scioscia said Josh Hamilton should be playing in games within "about a week." #Angels— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) March 8, 2014
Updates from Thursday, March 6
Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com has the latest on Josh Hamilton:
Josh Hamilton (strained left calf) is able to run on a treadmill now and says he's progressing nicely. #Angels— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) March 6, 2014
Updates From Wednesday, Feb. 26
According to a report from Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times, Hamilton's injury could keep him out for quite a while:
Hamilton said he suffered the injury as he took a lead off first base and then planted his left foot to run. He said he would be on crutches for about two days while the spasm eases in his left leg.
"I can't straighten it right now," Hamilton said.
He said he would be evaluated at the end of the week. He plans to take the injury "a week at a time" and be prudent in his rehabilitation.
"It sucks. I felt really good swinging the bat," Hamilton said. "I'm not going to rush back. There's no reason to rush."
Shaikin also provided a rough timetable of the injury:
Scioscia: "a minimum of couple of weeks" for Josh Hamilton (strained calf) #Angels— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) February 26, 2014
Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com says the Angels haven't lost hope that Hamilton will be ready by opening day:
#Angels still believe Hamilton will be ready by Opening Day, but could be set up pretty nicely even if Hamilton has to start season on DL.— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) February 26, 2014
The beginning stages of spring training led to a rather ominous development for the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, as star outfielder Josh Hamilton suffered a strained left calf during baserunning drills.
MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez reported news of the injury and noted that Hamilton was on crutches:
Hamilton strained his left calf doing baserunning drills and is on crutches. Will stay off his feet for a couple days. #Angels— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) February 25, 2014
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times provided a bit more specificity of the potential timeline regarding Hamilton's recovery and evaluation, along with a brief quote from the 32-year-old veteran:
Josh Hamilton (strained calf) says he'll be on crutches a couple days, re-evaluated in 4-5 days. Not worried about Opening Day. #Angels— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) February 25, 2014
Josh Hamilton said he would take his calf injury "a week at a time." #Angels— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) February 25, 2014
The Los Angeles Times' Mike DiGiovanna weighed in on the early adversity, which also included pitcher C.J. Wilson being hit in the head by a line drive:
CJ Wilson struck in head by line drive, Josh Hamilton strains L calf. As long-time #Angels fans know too well, just a typical day in camp.— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) February 25, 2014
Hamilton is a five-time All-Star and former American League MVP, but he had a disappointing 2013 campaign in his first action with the Angels, hitting a career-low .250. He managed just 21 home runs in 576 at-bats, compared to 43 the previous year with the Texas Rangers despite seeing 14 fewer at-bats.
Although this is considered a minor setback, perhaps a revisiting of the basic fundamentals preached in spring training could help Hamilton as he prepares to bounce back from a lackluster season. The minor ailment shouldn't cause him to miss any regular-season games, either.
With the star power the Angels have in Hamilton, young phenom Mike Trout and Albert Pujols among others, the hope is to capitalize more on it after going just 78-84 last year. Doing so depends on Hamilton picking up the slack at the plate, along with his recently underachieving teammates and Pujols in particular.