Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton says his ailing shoulder is feeling better and is confident he will be ready for the American League Division Series opener against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday.
Hamilton has played once since Sept. 4 because of the shoulder problem, but has also had issues with a right rib and his chest. He spent two months on the disabled list earlier this season after tearing a thumb ligament on a headfirst slide into first base.
"I feel good, just like yesterday. I ran, threw, faced a lot of pitching, so I'm good to go," Hamilton said, according to MLB.com.
Hamilton hit .263 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI in 89 games this season, with none of the those homers coming at home. He said he expects to play in the outfield and not be the team’s designated hitter, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia hasn’t decided where Hamilton will play.
Angels hitting coach Don Baylor said Hamilton is ready to go after being a little tentative facing live pitching after being out of the lineup for awhile.
"I think he is," Baylor said. "He'll do all right. He'll surprise a lot of people, I believe. Not himself, because he has a lot of confidence in himself."
For Hamilton, he says he believes he can manage his injuries, after receiving 12 shots to help relieve his pain.
"There's always pain, but the point is that I'm not having muscle spasms. It's been responding well every day. I didn't have any spasms after I finished, so I'll see how it responds tomorrow," said Hamilton, who is in the second season of a five-year, $125 million deal.
- Scooby Axson