Angels’ Josh Hamilton set for Cactus League debut Monday

Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton says he'll have plenty of time to prepare for the season opener in two weeks after he makes his exhibition debut Monday.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

TEMPE, Ariz. — Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton is set to make his Cactus League debut Monday, giving him two weeks to get ready for opening day.

Hamilton strained his left calf three weeks ago. He is expected to be the Angels’ designated hitter Monday — and the cleanup hitter and left fielder in the March 31 opener against the Seattle Mariners.

Neither Hamilton nor Manager Mike Scioscia expressed doubt about whether Hamilton would be prepared for the opener.


Hamilton got 60 at-bats last spring, in 21 games. Starting Monday, the Angels have 12 exhibition games remaining.

Scioscia said players generally need 40 to 60 at-bats in spring training. Hamilton dismissed any thought that he might not be able to get enough at-bats without rushing his preparation.

“I’ll get plenty,” he said.

The Angels can use Hamilton in minor league exhibitions, in which the rules are flexible. For instance, he could lead off every inning and get nine at-bats per day. Scioscia said it would be premature to say whether Hamilton would need work beyond the Cactus League games.

“If we have to complement it, we can,” Scioscia said.