A potential suspension of Los Angeles Angels leftfielder Josh Hamilton would begin at the start of the regular season, meaning the suspension could be over before Hamilton's rehabilitation from right shoulder surgery, reports Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com.
Earlier this week, reports indicated Hamilton could face a suspension of at least 25 games for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy. Hamilton, 34 on May 21, reportedly violated the terms of a treatment program when he relapsed on cocaine and alcohol. The Angels have confirmed that Hamilton met with MLB officials in New York on Wednesday to discuss a disciplinary issue. Manager Mike Scioscia said on Saturday the team has "been in touch" with Hamilton, but did not add further details.
Hamilton had surgery to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder earlier this month. A timeline of six to eight weeks has been given for his return, which would extend into early May. The Angels' 26th game of the season will come May 4, at home vs. the Seattle Mariners.
Hamilton is entering the third year of the five-year, $125 million contract he signed with the Angels in December 2012. He is due to make $23 million in 2015, and according to MLB.com, the Angels would save $125,683.06 for every day that he is suspended.
Following five All-Star seasons with the Texas Rangers, Hamilton has battled injuries in his two seasons with the Angels. After appearing in 151 games—the second-most of his career—in 2013, Hamilton was limited to 89 in 2014 by a thumb injury. He batted .263 over 381 plate appearances, hitting 10 home runs with 44 RBI.
- Mike Fiammetta