Some brutal injury news here for the Angels …
As first reported by Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, outfielder Josh Hamilton has been diagnosed with a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb along with a torn capsule. He needs surgery and will be out for 6-8 weeks.
Hamilton suffered the injury Tuesday on an ill-advised head-first slide into the first base bag. He was off to a promising start at the plate this season, boasting a .444 batting average and 1.286 OPS through eight games played. Hamilton had a .548 OPS last April.
J.B. Shuck was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday night to provide outfield depth.
Free agent outfielder Peter Bourjos is heading back to the Angels on a minor league deal, per a report from Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors. The agreement includes an invitation to spring training, but has not yet been officially confirmed by the team.
Bourjos, 31, played out a one-year gig with the Braves in 2018 and slashed .205/.239/.364 with four extra-base hits and a .603 OPS through a career-low 47 plate appearances. He showed more promise during a short-lived stint with the Giants’ Triple-A squad in the second half of the season, but elected free agency in early November and had yet to catch on with another major league club. His deal with the Angels represents a homecoming of sorts, as he played some of the best years of his career in Anaheim from 2010 to 2013 before getting traded to the Cardinals in a multiplayer swap for David Freese and Fernando Salas in 2014.
The veteran outfielder is long past his prime, but could still bring some value to the team as outfield depth behind Justin Upton, Mike Trout, and Kole Calhoun. Per Adams, he’s expected to compete for a spot as the Angels’ fourth outfielder, though he also has limited experience at DH as well.