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Josh Hamilton could be out weeks

Feb 26, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

josh hamilton getty Getty Images

Yesterday Josh Hamilton left the Angels’ game with a calf problem. Turns out the problem is going to keep him sidelined a good while. Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times:

The Angels open Cactus League play Friday, but it could be weeks before their left fielder joins the lineup. On Tuesday, he strained his left calf muscle during a baserunning drill and left the clubhouse on crutches . . . 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.

It’s not out of the question that Hamilton can still have that bounceback year he so desperately needs, but it’s now gonna be that much harder.

  1. stex52 - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    It’s deja vu all over. Thanks to you, too, Josh, for disabusing me of taking a flier on you in the fantasy draft.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      Clearly, he didn’t repent enough for something. Maybe he needs to atone for preferring California beaches in his heart…or he’s having barbecue withdrawal. Sigh.

  2. cackalackyank - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    Ouch.

  3. jarathen - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    That was such a good signing. Arte Moreno sure knows how to sign free agents!

    • shutdownespn - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      You win some, you lose some. A few of Moreno’s high-profile FAs have worked out, most obviously Vladimir Guerrero. Bartolo Colon, too, and Bobby Abreu (at least, his first Angel contract). Among current Angels signed as free agents, CJ Wilson has certainly earned his money so far.

  4. nsauser - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    It could be a 3 horse race to see who ends up being the worst contract in MLB history, Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and Arod.

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      Hamilton’s contract is only 5 years

      • jeffa43 - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:01 PM

        Correct.. Hamilton is only 5 years, so its not his contract. A-Rod got rings, so as much distaste as we all have for him, it is not his contract…

        The obvious worst contract will be Albert… Don’t see any logical argument against that one. Sharp decline, getting older. 80% of contract left, and once again it appears it hurts him to walk.

        (If you read this stex52) You are right… I don’t like Albert at all, but that is 100% separate from what we all see happening, which is the truth.

      • nsauser - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:24 PM

        Yea, but 5 years of the worst production of his career and stretches where he’s hurt? Might not eclipse the years that will be written off of Pujols’ contract but still could be an awful contract.

      • stex52 - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:28 PM

        Perhaps, Jeff. 2014 will go a long way toward answering the question. No one ever thought the last five years of the contract would be worth much, but I’m not sure he is finished yet.

    • johnnysoda - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:39 AM

      At this point, I would have to say Pujols is in the lead. His two seasons with the Angels are his two worst in terms of WAR (5.0 and 1.5, respectively), and he’s not getting any younger. And the Angels still owe him $212 million.

      • stex52 - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:49 AM

        A five WAR is pretty damn good. There is a rush on this site to write Pujols off that I think is premature just yet. He won’t give them anywhere near full value, but he could be worth a lot still for the next three years.

        Vernon Wells cost 126 MM$ over seven years for 7.0 WAR. Barry Zito got 3.0 WAR. There are a lot of bad deals out there.

      • Old Gator - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:49 AM

        A-roid definitely in third place. The Borg just got relieved of a whole year’s worth of it. Pujols wears the crown.

      • jeffa43 - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:46 PM

        Cant disagree with you more Stex….. But, still owe you wings and Beers…
        And yes… Cards to Halos… he is stalking Houston…. so, ya I don’t like the guy.

      • stex52 - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:04 PM

        And you may turn out right on this one, too. We’ll see.

    • toodrunktotastethischicken - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:20 PM

      Ryan Howard begs to differ.

    • shutdownespn - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:53 PM

      How soon we forget. I would suggest that the contracts Darren Dreifort signed with the Dodgers, and that Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle signed with the Rockies, remain among the gold standards for worthless contracts. Those teams got ZERO value out of their $55M to $121M.

      There are also a lot of other horrific contracts that are at least in the discussion–Vernon Wells, Kevin Appier, Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, Barry Zito, Mark Teixeira, Jason Giambi, Jason Schmidt, Chan Ho Park, Gary Matthews, Jr.

      For me, judging a truly bad contract requires some consideration of context. Pujols appears to be an overpay, yes, but the market dictated the price, and the Angels needed someone to “win now” while they had/have a cheap Mike Trout and a healthy Jered Weaver. Plus, they hoped (and still do hope) that Pujols would age gracefully and gradually.

      By contrast, Ryan Howard was a huge overpay FOUR YEARS before he became a free agent. Darren Dreifort was already a broken-down injury risk whose only positive quality was “potential”. A-Rod cost the Yankees something like $80M more than necessary because they mishandled the negotiations, thus freeing the Rangers of their obligations. In all three of these cases, the teams had information AT THE TIME that should have warned them they were making a mistake.

      As an Angels fan, I am much more irritated by the Matthews contract and the trade for Vernon Wells, which were both clearly stupid decisions at the time they were made. Pujols/Hamilton, by contrast, were calculated gambles that have not worked out thus far.

      • stex52 - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:06 PM

        The irritation with Pujols, if he doesn’t work for at least a few years, is that teams are often paying a player late for past performance (See Bagwell, Jeff). The misfortune for Arte is that he is paying Albert for his success at St. Louis.

      • itsallbygrace - Feb 26, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        and maybe CC Sabathia can join that group with his latest extension.

      • shutdownespn - Feb 26, 2014 at 2:23 PM

        That is the nature of the free agent market, though. You pay for past success, and you hope that it continues long enough to justify the contract.

        I believe the current numbers have one win above replacement equal to about $6M on the open market. That means Pujols needs to earn about 40 WAR to earn his money. He’s already got 6 of that, so that’s 34 WAR in the next eight years. If he can go 5-5-4-4-4-3-3-2, that’s 28, and a fairly reasonable aging curve. In that scenario, the Angels come close to getting their money’s worth. If a fully healthy Pujols becomes PUJOLS again for a couple of seasons, he might reasonably go something like 7-7-6-5-4-4-3-2. That’s 38 WAR, and the Angels would actually be coming out ahead. Plus, all of these numbers are based on the current value of a win on the open market; by the end of his contract they will surely be more. With inflation, he might only need to go something like 5-4-4-4-3-3-2-2 to actually justify his contract.

    • cackalackyank - Feb 26, 2014 at 7:31 PM

      You left out Cano. So, four horse race.

  5. sportsdrenched - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    I’m confused. He can’t straighted out his calf…or stretch out his calf? Aren’t calf muscles straight all the time?

    • spudchukar - Feb 26, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      No.

  6. happytwinsfan - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    hamilton had to struggle mightily to overcome a severe substance abuse problem. although being rich might ease the pain, it has to be awful hard on a guy to be widely and publicly despised for being way over paid during his declining years. i hope he doesn’t have a remission.

    • jjschiller - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      I’m not sure if you’re just being pedantic or if you’re genuinely confused by the statement, so I’ll reply. I presumed he meant straightening his LEG, meaning his knee/foot. The calf muscle is stretched tighter when the knee is straightened, as opposed to bent with the lower leg dangling, a position made possible by using crutches Likewise the foot: if the foot is allowed to dangle, toe down, the calf is under less stress. Even without touching the ground, you can dangle your foot toe down, and then lift the toe parallel to the ground, and feel the work your calf is doing.

      I tore my right calf 6 years ago, and since that time am prone to periodic calf tightness and strains, so I’ve spent a little more time considering how to make my calf more comfortable than your average guy, I guess.

      • jjschiller - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:32 AM

        God damnit. When I started typing that comment I SWEAR TO GOD it was under sportsdrenched, not you happytwinsfan. By the time I hit post it moved it down under your post. Sorry

    • karlkolchak - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:46 AM

      I stopped feeling sorry for him the moment he started spouting all that God told me to take the Angels’ money nonsense.

      • happytwinsfan - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:13 PM

        i didn’t hear about that, you got a point. look at this way, if he goes back to drinking maybe he starts really doing an elmer gantry thing. you wouldn’t want that would you.

  7. andreweac - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    Is Vernon Wells available?

    • banksatdixie - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      He sure is! And the Angels are already paying his full salary this year, so it’s a perfect fit.

  8. senioreditor2 - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    He’s going to be out for a while…….I highly doubt he’ll be ready to play before May 1st.

  9. jeffbbf - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    Interesting leap from “I’ll be on crutches for 2 days while the spasm eases” to “He’ll be out for weeks” or “a good while” or that his bounce back season will be that much harder.

    • thebirdsareback - Feb 28, 2014 at 12:58 PM

      did you think he was going to bounce back? smh

  10. Old Gator - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    Josh Hamilton wouldn’t be Josh Hamilton if he didn’t need over a month to recover from a calf strain, would he now?

  11. sportsnut101 - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    This why u don’t sign these people to longer then 5 yrs
    Only 4 yrs left for josh

  12. rangersfan3025 - Feb 26, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    Same old Josh!

  13. thebirdsareback - Feb 28, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    DAGGER! AND THEY ALL….FALL….DOWN!!!!!

    Angels are going to have a long year this year (as if all the other teams seasons are shorter lol) I think injuries will hold them back again this year. Obviously the Orioles are going to be the best offense in baseball for 2014

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