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Josh Hamilton won’t make Cactus League debut this week

Mar 11, 2014, 7:25 PM EDT

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Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Saturday that Josh Hamilton — who has been sidelined because of an early-spring calf strain — was on track to make his Cactus League debut this week. It won’t happen.

Scioscia was asked again about Hamilton’s status on Tuesday in camp and told Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register that the veteran outfielder won’t be appearing in a game “until Sunday, at the earliest.” Hamilton is not yet in danger of missing any regular season action, but he’s losing important spring at-bats and field work as he tries to bounce back from his highly disappointing 2013 campaign.

Hamilton signed a five-year, $125 million free agent contract with the Angels last winter and then went on to post a career-low .739 OPS with just 21 home runs and 79 RBI in 151 games. He is owed a $17 million salary this season, a $25 million salary next season, and then $32 million salaries in 2016 and 2017.

  1. missingdiz - Mar 11, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    I know everybody piles on this guy. I’ve said before that if somebody had thrown millions of dollars at my in my youth, I might have crashed and burned, too. But, sorry–a “calf strain”??? What the heck is that? He can’t swing the bat with a “calf strain”? I work out every day–I’m not sure I’d even notice a “calf strain” given all the other aches and pains.

    • clemente2 - Mar 11, 2014 at 8:37 PM

      You are not trying to hit baseballs thrown by the world’s best pitchers. You are not more concerned about being healthy for the regular season, and so not wanting to risk a worse injury in the pre-season.

      In fact, just about everything about you is different than Hamilton’s situation.

      • missingdiz - Mar 11, 2014 at 8:56 PM

        What I’m saying is I’m not so sure a “calf strain” is an injury. As I more-or-less said, I don’t know what the term is supposed to mean. My experience is that when you’re trying to get back into shape, everything gets strained to some extent.

    • pauleee - Mar 11, 2014 at 9:42 PM

      You’d notice it. I got one a couple of years ago, playing basketball. You can’t even walk right, ankle motion is dependent on the calf muscle. A week after the injury, I had to catch a flight. I walked through the airport like I was 120 years old.

      There’s a reason he was on crutches immediate following the strain.

    • jeffa43 - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:38 PM

      We all know how the Halos report their injuries. Albert was 100% healthy they said, until he showed up to camp. Every time it was a different ailment, then what it actually was. Never was it as serious as what it really is.

      This is following the same lead…. Calf strain… He has been on crutches for a calf strain.
      The honesty is amazing… on all sides.

  2. bostonboresme - Mar 11, 2014 at 8:31 PM

    He’s making 32 million dollars in ’16 and ’17? Jeeeeeeeesus haha. I’d like to see him succeed as much as the next guy, but damn that’s a lotta dough.

  3. losanginsight - Mar 11, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    All those years of smoking crack and slamming heroin is catching up to him. Of the jalos don’t make the playoffs this year they should look into getting a real gm.

    • pauleee - Mar 11, 2014 at 9:44 PM

      Every time you post about the Angels you use the term “jalos”. It’s tired, you should try something (or somewhere) else.

      • nymets4ever - Mar 11, 2014 at 9:46 PM

        How convenient. It would be oh so cute if Old Gator did it…lol @ HardballTalk politics

        Also, mark my words, Josh Hamilton will go down as one of the all-time what-could’ve-been stories in baseball history.

  4. earpaniac - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    Paulee is right. I’ve had them before as well. They are terrible. Walking is bad enough, let alone trying to hit MLB pitching.

  5. NatsLady - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    I have a question for the commentors (not directly related to Hamilton).

    So, I’m listening to the Dodgers game and the announcers (not Vin Scully but whoever talks when he doesn’t) are totally making stuff up about Dan Haren, the pitcher. “He went on the DL last June for a left shoulder injury. Before his DL stint his performance was very poor. You know when you see performance that bad there is a physical problem, so the Nats were monitoring his shoulder and it got worse and worse until he finally had to go on the DL. Then they did what was needed to rest and heal up the shoulder, and when he came back he was much better. ”

    Now, anyone who is a Nats fan knows that’s not what happened with Dan Haren. My question is, most people here follow a team pretty closely. When your player goes to another team, do you hear stuff that you know isn’t true about that guy? Is it because they don’t know, but feel obliged to speculate to fill the air time?

    • jamaicanjasta - Mar 11, 2014 at 11:30 PM

      It’s pretty common and I’d guess it may be for the reason you stated. Randomly, it’s SUPER common I’ve noticed on sports radio to just muddle one’s way through a player’s history and hope for the best.

      Example: Local radio guy here in Atlanta was talking about how Osi Umenyiora was garbage and needed to be cut before his partner reminded him that he had 7.5 sacks, 31 tackles and 3 forced fumbles last year.

      So to answer your question, I think it’s a combination of wanting to fill air time and at times wanting to ‘fit’ a narrative about a player.

      • NatsLady - Mar 11, 2014 at 11:48 PM

        Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, they definitely had a couple of facts (DL stint, performance before/after) and filled out the narrative, right down to how Haren was regularly “receiving treatment from the trainers” (he wasn’t–because he wasn’t injured. In one of the amusing moments of a not-very-amusing season, when Haren was informed by reporters he was on the DL for a shoulder injury, he blurted out, which shoulder?).

        It was weird, like when they film a show set in a particular locale and you can absolutely tell it’s not in that place because you live there.

  6. Carl Hancock - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:47 AM

    @missingdiz You do realize that a hitters legs are extremely important to being able to be a successful power hitter as well as a fast runner, right? Because judging by your questioning of his injury I would have to say you are clueless.

  7. zdravit - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Hamilton has that rare combination of physical and mental fragility that scouts crave.

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