Josh Hamilton says he’s “never, ever” struggled this long


Josh Hamilton went 0-for-4 yesterday and is now hitting .216 with a .657 OPS and 61 strikeouts through 56 games for the Angels.

Asked after his latest 0-for whether he’s gotten off to a slow start like this before Hamilton replied: “Never, ever–from the first time I picked up a ball to now, no.”

Hamilton also expressed confidence that he’ll get things turned around, telling Alden Gonzalez of

Take a poll of every player in this clubhouse and see if I’m going to come out of it or not. The proof is in what’s gone on in the past. I’ve struggled at times and always come out of it.

I’d actually be sort of fascinated to see the result of such a poll, if it were somehow possible to conduct it while getting truthful answers of course. Seems like a pretty good bet that at least a few of Hamilton’s new teammates are skeptical about him returning to the level that got him a five-year, $125 million contract from the Angels.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.