05/13/2013 12:51 AM ET
Hamilton changes mindset to counter timid approach
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- A lot of the chatter surrounding Josh Hamilton this season has centered on his perceived lack of discipline at the plate, which makes it interesting to hear what the Angels' right fielder believes has been the problem.
"I was being too timid," Hamilton said recently. "I was trying not to strike out. I was trying to make contact, and I wasn't being myself."
Hamilton says he's changed his mindset and turned up the aggression since the start of a three-game series in Houston, which he finished with homers in back-to-back games. But then he went 1-for-12 with three strikeouts in three games against the White Sox, giving him a .203/.253/.331 slash line heading into the series finale.
Compared to last year, Hamilton has swung at fewer pitches out of the zone (45.4 to 42.3 percent) and fewer pitches inside the zone (84.9 to 80.7 percent). He says he fell into a timid habit in Spring Training and is just now getting back to his usual aggression.
"I was trying not to get out," Hamilton said. "I was trying not to get out and was being more jumpy. Now, it's be aggressive until you decide not to swing."
When will it lead to him getting on his first hot streak with the Angels?
That remains to be seen, but his former manager believes it's only a matter of time.
"You're not going to hold down Josh the whole year," Rangers skipper Ron Washington told reporters in Houston. "He'll have his moments, and they'll be beautiful. He's just too talented."
Mom never far from Williams' thoughts
CHICAGO -- Every Mother's Day, players throughout Major League Baseball swing pink Louisville Sluggers, wear pink wrist bands, don pink Phiten necklaces and even rock pink cleats in an effort to promote breast cancer awareness.
Jerome Williams does that all year, with the hot-pink glove he had specially made in Taiwan in 2010, to honor his mother, who was stricken by the disease and passed away in 2001.
"This is a day for her, and she's not here to celebrate," Williams said prior to Sunday's game against the White Sox. "But she's always with me."
Williams has been doing everything he can to honor his mother, Deborah, since cancer took her life after a five-year battle at age 46. During his rookie year in 2003, he and the Giants public-relations department worked out a plan to sell replicas of his white puka-shell necklace -- a gift from his mother just before she died -- on the days he started.
"We raised almost $50,000 for breast cancer awareness," Williams said, proudly.
This year, his story has received even more attention, with ESPN's Baseball Tonight going to his home to do a piece on his mother. Williams got emotional in the taping and was moved when he watched it, shocked ESPN was able to acquire video of his mother from the day he became the 39th overall selection in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft.
"That was the first time I heard her voice since she passed away," said Williams, who has used his Twitter account, @pinkpuka57, to post pictures of his late mother all week.
"Now people can realize why I wear [the pink glove] and what I go through every day -- what I think about every time I get on the mound, what I think about when I come to the clubhouse. It's all because of her."
Hanson to miss another turn in rotation
CHICAGO -- Angels starter Tommy Hanson will miss at least a second consecutive turn through the rotation while on the restricted list to deal with the aftermath of his step-brother's death.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia confirmed on Sunday that Barry Enright will start again on Wednesday, which was Hanson's next scheduled start, and said there's "no timetable yet" for when the 27-year-old right-hander will return to the team.
"He's working through the process," Scioscia said of Hanson. "He's been in contact with a lot of us, and hopefully he'll get through this tough situation and be ready to come back."
Hanson, 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in his first five starts, also missed a start while on the bereavement list to deal with the same situation from April 22-28. There's no limit for how much time a player can be on the restricted list.
Enright pitched 3 1/3 innings and was charged with five earned runs, four of which came in a fourth inning he couldn't finish, during Friday's comeback win over the White Sox.
Aybar eyeing Monday return against Royals
CHICAGO -- Erick Aybar's injured hamstring caused him to miss his third straight game on Sunday, but the Angels' switch-hitting shortstop is getting awfully close.
Aybar did some agility drills, took batting practice and fielded ground balls prior to Sunday's series finale against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. He plans to arrive early to Angel Stadium on Monday, run the bases, and if his right hamstring continues to feel good, start the series opener against the Royals.
"It's been feeling really good," said Aybar, who experienced tightness in the area while running down the first-base line in the fourth inning of Thursday's game. "The stretching and massage has worked well."
• Robert Coello made his Angels debut in Sunday's 3-0 loss to the White Sox, pitching a scoreless eighth inning. Coello became the 20th pitcher the Angels have deployed already this year. The most they've ever used in a full season is 29, in 1996.
• Right-hander Mark Sappington (4-0, 1.82 ERA), right fielder Kyle Johnson (.914 OPS) and shortstop Eric Stamets (83 assists, .976 fielding percentage) were named the Angels' Minor League Players of the Month for April, winning for pitching, hitting and defense, respectively.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.