Veteran slugger Josh Hamilton is nearing a return to the Texas Rangers' lineup. Hamilton was re-acquired by the Rangers in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in April a few months after a shoulder injury.
Hamilton, who spent time in an extended spring training camp in Arizona, has been suiting up for the Round Rock Express in Triple-A ball and the Frisco RoughRiders in Double-A, both minor league affiliates of the Rangers. Hamilton is expected to play in the minors as he continues to recover from the injury and work back to top form before returning to the Rangers.
Hamilton played for the Rangers from 2008 to 2012 before moving to the Angels, with whom he signed a five-year contract worth $125 million in December 2012. He played with the Angels in 2013 and 2014 but struggled for most of his time in Anaheim, California.
In February 2015, Hamilton went under the knife for a shoulder injury and to repair the acromioclavicular (AC) joint. He relapsed into drug addiction during recovery and he voluntarily reported it to the league, causing his eventual departure from the Angels.
The Rangers are currently in fourth place in the West division of the American League with 15 wins against 20 losses and are just 3-4 in their last seven games. Texas has a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians this weekend.
If Hamilton’s recovery continues, he is expected to re-join the Rangers on May 22, the start of a three-game series against the New York Yankees. For his career, the nine-year veteran has a batting average of 2.92 with 1,091 hits, 192 home runs, 226 doubles and 676 RBIs. Hamilton has made the MLB All-Star line-up five times, from 2008 to 2012 and was the American League Most Valuable Player in 2010.
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