Angels without Josh Hamilton: 3 games, 3 cleanup hitters

The Angels have played three games since cleanup batter Josh Hamilton went on the disabled list. The cleanup batters: David Freese in the first game, Raul Ibanez in the second and Howie Kendrick in the third.

Kendrick, the Angels' second baseman, has started 903 career games, 12 in the cleanup spot.

For now, Kendrick is likely to be the cleanup batter against left-handed starters, Manager Mike Scioscia said. The Angels like the idea of a left-handed batter behind Albert Pujols and in the cleanup spot against right-handers, Scioscia said.

Hamilton bats left-handed, but he is expected to be out until late May after surgery Friday to repair a thumb ligament. Ibanez bats left-handed, but he entered play Saturday batting .194, with one extra-base hit and 12 strikeouts in 31 at-bats. Freese entered play Saturday batting .147, with one extra-base hit and nine strikeouts in 34 at-bats.

"We're going to have to be fluid until we get some continuity," Scioscia said.

When Scioscia wanted to try a right-handed batter at leadoff Saturday, he opted for outfielder Collin Cowgill. Scioscia said he considered shortstop Erick Aybar but decided to bat him sixth because of his "right-side pop."

Aybar's career slugging percentage is .385 overall, .394 against left-handers.

Would the consideration of where to bat Aybar be different with Hamilton in the lineup?

"Yes," Scioscia said.


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