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.
Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well.
Prior to the injury, Darvish went 1-3 in eight starts with a 4.95 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 through 40 innings. Needless to say, these aren’t the kind of results the Cubs were hoping to see after inking the righty to a six-year, $126 million contract back in February, though the circumstances affecting his performances appear to have largely been out of his control. He missed a start in early May after coming down with the flu and has struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his eight starts to date.
The Cubs recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Rosario has yet to amass more than five career innings in the majors, but has impressed at Triple-A so far this year: he maintained an 0.97 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 through 19 1/3 innings in 2018. As for Darvish’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, Tyler Chatwood is lined up to take the mound when the Cubs face off against the Giants in the series finale on Sunday. A starter for Monday night’s game has yet to be determined.