Mike Scioscia on Josh Hamilton’s shoulder: “It doesn’t look like it’s going in the right direction”

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Josh Hamilton is missing a fifth straight game Tuesday due to discomfort in the back of his right shoulder and his lack of progress with the injury is beginning to worry Angels manager Mike Scioscia.

“Guys play banged up when you’re in a pennant race, so for Josh to not play, you know he’s hurting,” Scioscia told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday evening. “At first blush, it doesn’t look like it’s going in the right direction today.”

The Angels entered play Tuesday with an eight-game lead over the A’s in the American League West standings and a nine-game lead over the Mariners, so they can handle Hamilton with care down the stretch and try to get him as close as possible to 100 percent health heading into postseason play.

Hamilton, 33, is batting .263/.331/.415 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI in 88 gamest this year.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.