BOSTON — Josh Hamilton, moved from the fifth spot to the second spot Saturday in an attempt to jump-start his sagging bat, laughed when asked if he thought he might see more fastballs with speedy leadoff Mike Trout on base.
“No, absolutely not,” said the struggling right fielder, who enters Sunday’s game against the Boston Red Sox with a .216 average, eight home runs, 18 runs batted in and 63 strikeouts. “What does it matter if you get them if they aren’t going to be strikes?”
So what is the benefit then of batting Hamilton between Trout and No. 3 hitter Albert Pujols, a spot Torii Hunter thrived in last season?
“Maybe the pitchers are a little more distracted, and they might be more apt to make a mistake,” Hamilton said. “But it goes back to the pitcher, who has a plan for you no matter who is behind you or in front of you. When Trout is on base it might make them make a mistake, but that could be with any pitch.”
Hamilton, who doubled twice in Saturday’s doubleheader split against the Red Sox, hadn’t hit in the second spot since he was a rookie with the Cincinnati Reds in 2007, but he welcomed the move.
“I always love hitting in the first inning,” he said. “It’s exciting. Being between Trout and Pujols is not a bad place to be.”
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