It’s obviously way too early to panic, but Josh Hamilton’s Angels career is off to a slow start.
The $133 million man went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on Saturday and is now 1-for-20 with 10 strikeouts through the first five games of Anaheim’s regular-season schedule. The Rangers, intimately familiar with Hamilton’s random offensive funks, gave Albert Pujols three intentional passes Saturday. Which contributed to Hamilton stranding six baserunners.
The Angels won Saturday’s game in Texas by a score of 8-4 because the rest of the lineup managed 12 hits and eight runs, and because starter Tommy Hanson pitched six solid innings. They’re now 2-3 on the year.
Hamilton batted .395/.438/.744 with nine homers in his first 96 plate appearances last season.
Through 23 plate appearances this season the 31-year-old outfielder is hitting .050/.208/.050.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.