Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia went out of his way Wednesday to refute the "day-to-day" timetable given made by outfielder Josh Hamilton on Tuesday regarding his status following a calf injury, according to the Orange County Register's Jeff Fletcher.
Hamilton tweaked the muscle during workouts yesterday, saying that he felt the calf "grab me good" before having the strain confirmed by an MRI later that day. The five-time All-Star outfielder is coming off his first season with the Angels and was looking forward to rebounding after what was the worst season of his career following his signing of a 5-year, $125-million dollar deal with the team last offseason. Which may explain why was so enthusiastic in his self-prognosis.
"I'm not concerned about it, [but] it sucks because I felt really good swinging the bat in live BP and stuff" Hamilton told reporters before saying that he expected to miss four-or-five days to rehab the injury. This injury is the latest in a career plagued by them, with even his 2010 MVP season seeing him miss 30 games for the Texas Rangers. But none of this has Hamilton concerned at all, because as he puts it "It is going to be a great year, I know it is. I believe it is. There have been times in the past where I tweaked something in spring training and missed a week and had a great year. I have a good attitude about what's ahead."
Though even if the injury is as minor as he thinks it is, and Scioscia may merely have been looking to squash media speculation regarding the injury, it's not exactly a guarantee that Hamilton will come anywhere close to living up to his contract. While he certainly has a track record of remarkable resilience, his free-swinging ways seem like they may have finally caught up him, as he saw drastic drops or career-lows in nearly every major statistical category despite playing the second most number of games in his career.
And all these drops seem to be apart of a larger decline in contact, as his batting average has dropped steadily after the .359 peak that won him the 2010 batting title. But, hopefully for all involved, Hamilton will indeed come back strong, providing much needed protection for first baseman Albert Pujols and fill the hole in production left by the recently departed Mark Trumbo.
Though, it appears that regardless of what happens, the Angels are setting the table to lock up wunderkind Mike Trout for the rest of time. Which, of course, would be the cure for nearly anything which may be ailing them.