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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Mike Scioscia: Josh Hamilton not the same player he was with Rangers

Josh HamiltonMike Scioscia isn’t exactly thrilled with the type of production — or lack thereof — he’s received from Josh Hamilton.

Hamilton is only hitting .216 with a .630 OPS since the All-Star break and went 1-for-5 with 4 strikeouts Friday against the Rangers. That prompted Scioscia to say Saturday that Hamilton isn’t the player he was with Texas when he was a 5-time All-Star, won the 2009 AL MVP and commanded a 5-year, $125 million contract from the Angels.

“Josh is not the same that we saw when we were looking at the other dugout,” Scioscia said via the Dallas Morning News. “He’s not in the batter’s box with the confidence we know he has. He’s not attacking the ball like he can. He’s working hard to try to find it …but we need him to do what he’s capable of doing, or close to that.”

Despite being exasperated with Hamilton, Scioscia says he is not moving the outfielder from the cleanup spot in the lineup.

Though Hamilton has struggled lately, his regular season numbers could be worse. He’s batting .266/.339/.414 this season and was really scorching before going down with a thumb injury. Sometimes that’s all it takes to take a player out of his rhythm.

If Scioscia maintains confidence in Hamilton, I’m sure the outfielder will come around. He’s always been a streak hitter and will likely get hot again before too long. Maybe Scioscia is trying to motivate Hamilton by talking him down.


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