Hamilton's bruised left shoulder improving
Slugger could make his Cactus League debut Monday
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is reporting significant improvement with his bruised left shoulder and has increased his baseball activities.Hamilton, who has yet to appear in a Cactus League game, said he is going to go through a full workout on Saturday morning that will include throwing and hitting on the field. "Improvement ... it's good," Hamilton said. "The only thing I have is tightness, and that's about it. I feel good considering I did everything but hitting on the field [on Friday]." Hamilton faced pitchers Omar Beltre, Warner Madrigal and Chris Ray in a live batting practice session Saturday morning. He took Beltre deep over the left-field fence.
Hamilton had been sidelined since the first full-squad workout on Feb. 24, when he tumbled in an outfield drill while chasing a fly ball and fell on the shoulder. X-rays showed no structural damage and Hamilton has been waiting for the pain to subside to a tolerable level. The Rangers have obviously not been pushing him since it's early in Spring Training.But Hamilton is eager to get on the field, and the possibility exists he could be in the lineup as early as Monday, although that might be pushing it. "I need to start getting some at-bats and seeing pitches," Hamilton said. Hamilton resumed throwing on Friday, just playing catch and giving it about "60 percent" effort. He has not yet "cut it loose," but he had no residual soreness on Saturday morning. "Throwing was what hurt more than anything, but [Friday] I could do it and tolerate it," Hamilton said. "It's not sore today, that's a good thing."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.