Hamilton Facing ‘Bit of a Process' Before Rejoining Rangers

Josh Hamilton says his body feels good and he's glad to be in a clubhouse again, though he isn't sure how long it will be before he rejoins the Texas Rangers.

Before his third game for Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday night, his first game in Texas since being reacquired by the Rangers two weeks ago, Hamilton said "it's going to be a little bit of a process" seeing pitches and trying to get the timing right with his swing.

Round Rock was back home after the 2010 AL MVP and five-time All-Star played for the Express the previous two days at Nashville. Hamilton, who had offseason shoulder surgery, spent time in extended spring training in Arizona after the Rangers got him back from the Los Angeles Angels in a trade April 27.

"I played seven innings (Monday) night and woke up and felt pretty good. Body-wise, I'll be fine. It's just a timing thing," Hamilton said. "I'm not trying to force anything. I'm going in there trying to relax and see pitches and just get where I need to be."

After leaving the Rangers as a free agent following the 2012 season for a $125 million, five-year contract with the Angels, Hamilton struggled with injuries and poor performance. There was also his self-reported relapse with cocaine and alcohol earlier this year. He played only 89 regular-season games last season, then was hitless in 13 at-bats in the AL Division Series against Kansas City.

"I'm in a better place both mentally and physically," Hamilton said about being back in the Rangers organization.

Asked what his goals were, Hamilton said the first is just to have fun again. Then he mentioned numbers, and that he always wants to hit .300 with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs.

"Just be competitive and don't give at-bats away, just play hard, be a good teammate, do all those things that you need to do to fit in with the team," he said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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