Angels’ Josh Hamilton is navigating his way through another bad back.

Josh Hamilton

Josh Hamilton is in the Angels lineup. That could change soon.

It changed Tuesday and Thursday, when Hamilton was originally penciled into the lineup then scratched due to back spasms shortly before game time. At least Thursday, he was able to go into the game in right field in the seventh inning.

“They asked me,” Hamilton recalled. “I was in here (the clubhouse) getting treatment. About the sixth inning I went into the cage, took some swings and got ready to play in the game.”

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Angels’ Ryan Madson resumes light throwing.

Ryan MadsonAngels pitcher Ryan Madson threw lightly for the second straight day Friday, from 60 feet on flat ground for about six minutes. The right-hander reported no pain and plenty of progress compared to Thursday.

“Yesterday it didn’t feel good at all,” he said. “Today it felt a lot better.”

Madson had not thrown at all between May 13, the date of his last rehabilitation outing for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, and Thursday. One thing has changed in the meantime.

“I’m not going to have any input,” he said. The Angels’ training staff will dictate when Madson takes the next step in his rehab.

Madson said he hasn’t had an MRI exam on his surgically repaired right elbow since spring training, but he can tell when there’s inflammation just by stretching out his arm and twisting it below the elbow.

“I wanted this to start from zero inflammation,” he said of his latest throwing session. “I think we’re there.”

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Daily Distractions: No international draft as MLB chooses to preserve the status quo.

Major League Baseball has decided against holding an international draft in 2014.

The league issued a statement earlier today:

“The Office of the Commissioner and the Players Association have discussed various issues regarding international amateur players, including the possibility of an international draft. While both parties discussed an international draft, an agreement was not reached on some of the mechanics and procedures related to such a draft. Thus, an international draft will not be implemented in 2014. The parties intend to continue to discuss international amateur talent issues, and the current system of international talent acquisition as described in the Collective Bargaining Agreement will remain in place at this time.”

MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner issued the following statement: “At this time, the players are not prepared to accept an international draft. The MLBPA will continue to discuss with players and the Commissioner’s Office the many issues facing its international members.”

The Sports Business Journal reported as recently as 12 days ago that a single draft for eligible baseball players at home and abroad, as well as separate drafts for domestic and international players, were being considered by the league and the Players’ Association.

It’s unclear how or if the lawsuit reportedly brought by Adrian Gonzalez’s father, David, against MLB complicated negotiations.

What does it all mean?

The amateur draft will proceed as planned June 6-8. Teams can sign international players freely but face penalties for exceeding annual spending limits, between $1.15 and $4.25 million, that are tied to their winning percentage last season. Baseball essentially chose to preserve the status quo, warts and all (among them, the “circus”-like tryouts across Central and Latin America come to mind.)

Some bullet points to tide you through the weekend:
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Memorial services announced for Dr. Lewis Yocum.

Memorial services for Angels team physician Dr. Lewis Yocum were revealed Thursday on the website of the Kerlan Jobe Clinic.

Services will be held at American Martyrs Church, 624 15th Street in Manhattan Beach on June 22 at 10 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the Yocum family requests donations be sent to: Saint Sebastien Sports Project ~ P.O. Box 1711 ~ Manhattan Beach, CA 90267

Yocum died last Saturday due to complications from liver cancer.

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