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Hamilton set to return to Angels lineup tonight

The Angels outfielder last played on April 8th.

Bob Levey

The sad part about Hamilton's injury is that it continued a narrative following last year's struggles, in which he, along with the parallel difficulties of Albert Pujols, was labeled an overpaid, over-hyped washout that couldn't succeed outside of the friendly confines of the Ballpark in Arlington.

Tonight, he will get to continue trying to reverse that perception.

After injuring his thumb on a slide, Hamilton underwent surgery and a lengthy rehab process to make his way back. He will return to the lineup against the Houston Astros and try to continue the success he had in the first eight games before becoming injured. For the season, Hamilton is hitting .444/.545/.741 in thirty-three plate appearances with two home runs and two doubles.

And that perhaps is what made Hamilton's injury all the more frustrating, as he had seemed to put last year's shortcomings behind him and had started strong this season.

The good news is that there is far less pressure for Hamilton to produce at an extraordinary level; the Angels currently have the third-best offense in all of baseball, led by perennial MVP runner-up Mike Trout, second baseman Howie Kendrick, and a respectable resurgence from Albert Pujols, who has 14 home runs on the year already, which is only three shy of last year's total in 200 fewer plate appearances.