SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 19: Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers hits an RBI triple during the third inning of an interleague baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on June 19, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
We don't need to beat a dead horse, so let's just cut to the chase and move on.
Josh Hamilton has been terrible for nearly two full months now since getting off the perhaps the best two-month start in MLB history and being a slam dunk AL MVP winner and Triple Crown candidate when May came to a close.
Since then, he's seen his batting average drop over 100 points and has suddenly become a strikeout machine and has led baseball in swings and misses — a telling stat when you're talking about how well a guy is seeing the ball.
Finally, Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington pulled the trigger and did what many had been clamoring for for a good while, he gave Hamilton a night off. It wasn't the series off that many had hoped for to allow Hamilton to try to refresh himself mentally, but it was a night off and was specifically said to be for a "mental break." Good enough.
So far, it seems to have worked. Hamilton has played three games since taking his mental break and has been moved to the No. 5 spot in the order from the coveted 3-hole. In those games, Hamilton is 4 for 10 with four runs and an RBI on a solo home run to the opposite field. He's also shown the plate discipline that had all but left him completely over the last two months, drawing two walks and just seeing more pitches.
Batting out of the third spot in the lineup, where he has by far his most career at-bats, Hamilton is a .292 hitter with 105 home runs. His second most at-bats have come out of the fifth spot (and it's a very distant second) and check out these numbers: .399 batting average, 16 home runs in 281 at-bats.
The Rangers aren't planning on leaving Hamilton in the 5-hole for the rest of the season. He's too good to not hit third. But this could serve as a nice jumping off point for another run like he had early in the season. And everyone would be pleased with that.