Josh Hamilton’s potential suspension would begin at the start of the regular season

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Josh Hamilton could face a suspension of “at least 25 games” for admitted use of cocaine. That suspension would start at the beginning of the regular season, according to MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez.

That’s important for Hamilton and the Angels because the veteran is also recovering from surgery to fix the AC joint in his right shoulder earlier this month. He’s expected to miss 6-8 weeks, which would take him to about the beginning of May. The Angels play their 26th game on May 2 in San Francisco against the Giants. It’s quite possible Hamilton simply spends the duration of his suspension rehabbing and would effectively not miss any time that he wouldn’t have missed anyway.

Hamilton, 33, is entering the third year of a five-year, $125 million contract signed with the Angels in December 2012. He only played in 89 games last season as he was out for most of the first two months after tearing the UCL in his left thumb. Hamilton ended the season batting .263/.331/.414 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI in 381 plate appearances.