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Hamilton Struggles in Debut

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 5 Sports
    Josh Hamilton, during a news conference announcing his return to the Texas Rangers, Monday, April 27, 2015.

    Let's preface this by saying that an extended spring training game, especially a first extended spring training game, shouldn't be any type of gauge for future performance, but Josh Hamilton struggled in his first game action since his awful AL Division Series to end the 2014 season.

    In that three-game sweep at the hands of the eventual AL champion Kansas City Royals, Hamilton was booed off the field after he went 0-for-13 in the series. He got a little bit more of that on Monday in the extended spring training game in Arizona, as he went 0-for-4 with a strikeout, reaching base once on an error by the first baseman.

    In fact, Hamilton made contact in three of his four at-bats, and on all three of those they ended up as grounders to first base.

    Hamilton led off every inning before taking his exit after four at-bats. He'll play in another extended spring game on Wednesday and hopes to head off to some real competition on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Round Rock next week. His plan is to be back in Arlington after about 10 games with Round Rock.

    At this rate, and it's crazy to say, Hamilton will be a boost to the Rangers' lineup no matter how he does in this couple of weeks before hitting the bigs again. A nice little tear with Round Rock would be good to see, but don't bank on it.