Josh Hamilton: 'I'm getting there'

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- It’s been a bit of a strange spring for Josh Hamilton.

“Most springs, I come in and rake all spring,” Hamilton said.

That hasn’t happened so far, with Hamilton hitting a very human .257 with only one homer in 35 at-bats.

It’s the continuation of a strange offseason for the reigning American League MVP. He was hospitalized for pneumonia in January, an illness that ended up preventing him from working out for three weeks. The Super Bowl week ice storms kept him in the house for several more days. It’s no surprise to Hamilton that it’s taken longer than normal for him to find his stroke.

“I’m just trying to get the mental and physical to work together, but I’m feeling better,” Hamilton said. “I’m getting there, I’m getting there.”

The fact that he launched a ball over the Rangers’ bullpen behind the right-field fence in his last game could be considered proof that Hamilton is pretty close to being back to normal.

“You can’t try to make that happen,” Hamilton said. “I can’t try to hit that ball out. I’ve just got to react to it. But you’ve got to be in a good position where when the reaction takes over, everything is right where it needs to be.”