September 23, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels right fielder Josh Hamilton (32) runs after hitting a triple in the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Hamilton could return to Angels Monday

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If the Angels want to finish any higher than third place in the AL West, they’re going to need Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton to stay healthy and be productive. Albert Pujols, so far, has looked pretty good at first base. Josh Hamilton might make his Spring Training return after two weeks on Monday.

Hamilton, according to MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez, has been feeling good while taking batting practice swings, and he is hoping to return to the lineup on Monday. The 32-year old suffered a calf strain early in Spring Training and has been limited in his workouts.

The outfielder, known for a string of odd afflictions over the last two seasons, was expected to provide a boost to the Angels’ lineup after the down year that Albert Pujols had in his first year with the team. The result was that Pujols missed nearly half of the season with Plantar Fasciitis and Josh Hamilton suffered one of the worst seasons of his career. Over 151 games, Hamilton hit a career low .250/.307/.432 with 158 strikeouts. He never really looked comfortable at the plate or in the field.

This year, Hamilton made changes to his diet and off season training routine. He reported to camp a healthy 15-20 pounds heavier. He had previously kept a smaller frame, thinking that he wouldn’t lose nearly as much weight playing in Arlington with the Rangers as much. This proved to be more of a detriment than an advantage. If Hamilton can return from his calf strain and perform up to the five-year, $125 million contract he was tendered as a free agent before last year.

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