Josh Hamilton’s recent hot streak landed him back in the cleanup spot Tuesday. The Angels right fielder entered the series against St. Louis 9 for his last 21, having raised his average 16 points in the last week to .223.
Is Hamilton willing to say he has finally turned a corner?
“I wouldn’t say that,” he said. “Give me a month. I’ll give you a better answer.
“Hopefully the pitch recognition will stay and I’ll keep having better at-bats. That’s all you want to do is have better at-bats, get on base any way you can, try to help the team.”
It may not be too soon to say the St. Louis Cardinals emerged on the better end of the Albert Pujols 2011 sweepstakes.
The 33-year-old slugger has more than eight years of his $240 million contract remaining to provide production, but on Tuesday Pujols faced his former team for the first time sporting a losing record and zero playoff appearances in anything other than a Cardinals uniform.
St. Louis, meanwhile, is only gaining respect precisely because of what it achieving without players like Pujols. The Cardinals entered Tuesday 17 games above .500.
Angels reliever Ryan Madson is attempting a new strategy in his return from Tommy John surgery.
After several setbacks, the pitcher the Angels hoped would challenge for their closer role has decided he won’t throw all-out until he absolutely has to.
Currently on the 60-day disabled list, Madson is throwing bullpen sessions off a mound every third day.
“I may not even throw 100 percent until I’m in a major league game,” Madson said. “When I feel healthy again, I need to be a little smarter. Even when I think ‘Oh, I can rip one,’ I need to conserve more until I feel more comfortable.”