<
>

Rangers impressed by Josh Hamilton workouts

The Texas Rangers have been impressed by Josh Hamilton after two workouts at the team's spring training facility in Surprise, Arizona.

"I like what I see from him, especially the eagerness to play," outfield instructor Dwayne Murphy told the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday. "I have to put the reins on him because he wants to do a lot more. That is good."

Less than halfway through a five-year, $125 million contract, Hamilton was traded to the Rangers by the Los Angeles Angels on Monday after two troubled seasons filled with poor performance, injuries and an alcohol and drug relapse.

Hamilton, who is on the 15-day disabled list while recovering from right-shoulder surgery on Feb. 4, is expected to work out in Arizona for about 10 days before beginning an injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Round Rock.

He is on track to be activated during the second half of May.

"I'm happy with it," Hamilton told the Morning News of his workouts. "I'm trying to do all the stuff I usually do in spring training, so I can be ready to roll."

Hamilton, who turns 34 on May 21, returns to the team he helped make consecutive World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011. He was the 2010 AL MVP and an All-Star each of his five seasons with Texas (2008-12).

In his first stint with Texas, Hamilton hit .305 with 142 homers and 506 RBIs in 647 games. He led the majors with a .359 batting average in 2010, when he was also the MVP of the AL Championship Series.

He said he plans to be more careful about playing with the all-out style that has led to injuries over the years.

"It's continuing to know the situation in games, when it's important to give your body up and when it's not," Hamilton told the Morning News. "I have to be smarter and keep my body off the ground as much as possible.

"I'm smarter, hopefully, when it comes to playing the game because I realize I'm not that kid anymore. It's not just the raw ability."

In 240 games the past two seasons in Los Angeles, Hamilton had 31 homers and 123 RBIs. He was limited to 89 games because of injuries last year, which ended with him going hitless in 13 at-bats as the Angels were swept in three games by Kansas City in the AL Division Series.

He self-reported a relapse with alcohol and cocaine this past offseason. Arbitrator Roberta Golick ruled Major League Baseball could not discipline Hamilton.