5/8/2014 2:49 A.M. ET
Halos' Hamilton to take rehab to Arizona
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Josh Hamilton hit on the field for the first time since tearing a ligament in his left thumb on Wednesday, swinging with one hand as he took side and front tosses from interim hitting coach Paul Sorrento.
Next, Hamilton will go to Arizona, where he'll hit off a tee using both hands and play catch on Friday.
Hamilton hopes to take live batting practice when the Angels return from a six-game road trip through Toronto and Philadelphia on May 15, and he hopes to return to the starting lineup for the home series against the Royals from May 23-25 -- six and a half weeks since Hamilton hurt his thumb while sliding headfirst into first base in Seattle.
Hamilton had been doing drills with his bottom hand in recent days, but asked to do them outside so he could make sure he continues to stay in the middle of the field.
The silver lining in all this is that it's Hamilton's left thumb that's injured, not his right.
"The top hand helps guide when you go through, but still, your bottom hand leads," Hamilton said. "If I'm getting in good position here, then I know when I put my top one back on, I'm going to be all right."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia has used five different cleanup hitters behind Albert Pujols since Hamilton went down on April 8. Raul Ibanez has hit there 12 times, Howie Kendrick has hit there nine times (including Wednesday), Ian Stewart twice, and David Freese and C.J. Cron have started one game apiece in the No. 4 spot.
With Hamilton playing in only eight of the team's first 32 games, the Angels are 14th in the Majors in OPS from the cleanup spot.
"We've had to do a lot of mixing and matching in the lineup," Scioscia said. "That big presence behind Albert is something we're searching for more."
De La Rosa could join Angels by weekend
ANAHEIM -- It's been a long, erratic process, but there's finally some clarity with regard to rehabbing relievers Dane De La Rosa and Sean Burnett.
De La Rosa, battling back from irritation in his right s/c joint, has thrown two scoreless outings for Triple-A Salt Lake in the last three days, and Angels manager Mike Scioscia said there's "a strong possibility" that the 31-year-old right-hander could rejoin the Angels for their six-game road trip through Toronto and Philadelphia, which starts Friday. De La Rosa will need at least one more rehab outing, however.
Burnett, still recovering from August surgery in his left elbow, has successfully completed a handful of extended spring training outings in Arizona, and Scioscia said it's "very possible" that a rehab assignment will be next for the veteran lefty. But that'll depend on how Burnett bounces back from his most recent outing on Wednesday.
De La Rosa was between 90 to 93 mph with his fastball during his most recent outing on Tuesday, according to the stadium radar gun. That's about where he was in April of last season, though he gradually added fastball velocity as the year went on, and it's much better than the 88.65 mph he averaged when he originally returned from a right forearm strain on April 12.
"He's not that far off," Scioscia said.
Halos send Jeter off with pinstriped paddleboard
ANAHEIM -- If Derek Jeter ever wanted a giant paddleboard, he now has one, courtesy of the Angels.
For Wednesday's series finale in Southern California, which marked the Yankees captain's final regular-season game at Angel Stadium, the Angels honored Jeter's impending retirement by gifting him a pinstriped paddleboard.
Jeter can place it alongside the pinstripe cowboy boots he received from the Astros before his second-to-last game at Minute Maid Park on April 2.
"We felt it was a unique gift to a person who probably has everything, including five World Series rings," Angels president John Carpino said in an email. "Derek Jeter has always spoken affectionately about Southern California, and a Hobie paddleboard is a reflection of the Southern California lifestyle."
Jeter will likely collect a gift from every opposing ballpark he visits during his final season, similar to former teammate Mariano Rivera last season. The Angels gave Rivera a life-sized painting.
Jeter entered Wednesday with a career .338/.398/.486 slash line at Angel Stadium and has faced the Angels three times in the playoffs, losing to them in the American League Division Series in 2002 and '05, and winning the '09 AL Championship Series. Angel Stadium was also site of the 2010 All-Star Game, which took place shortly after former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner passed away.
Jeter went 2-for-5 and hit his first home run of the season in New York's 9-2 win on Wednesday.
"The fans have been awesome here," Jeter said. "I said it after the first game; one of the coolest moments I've had is the ovation they gave me, even from the first game. It was all three games.
"It's something that you'll remember, and I appreciate it. I've played a lot of great games here, competed in the regular season and postseason. I have fond memories of playing here in Anaheim."
Prior to the game, the Angels played a video tribute to Jeter on the JumboTron, with Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind" in the background, then had Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Jered Weaver and Howie Kendrick carry the paddleboard onto the field to present it to the iconic shortstop.
Fans were given a commemorative ticket.
Asked what's the best thing he took away from this series, besides taking two of three, Jeter said: "The paddleboard, man. That's a good gift. … I don't expect anything where I go. This was a surprise to me. I don't go into anything with any expectations."
• Kole Calhoun (sprained right ankle) ran on the field pretty close to full intensity on Wednesday and will join Hamilton in Arizona over the weekend. The Angels' right fielder hopes to start a rehab assignment at the four-week mark from his injury, which would be Tuesday.
• Closer Joe Smith has been nursing tightness in his lower right side since Monday night and was unavailable out of the bullpen on Tuesday and Wednesday. Scioscia said prior to Wednesday's game that Smith is "doing much better."
• The Angels' Class A affiliate Burlington Bees led 17-1 after five innings and wound up losing to the Clinton LumberKings, 20-17, in 12 innings on Wednesday night. The Bees allowed six runs in the sixth, five each in the eighth and ninth and three in the 12th. That's 19 unanswered runs total.
• After Wednesday's 9-2 loss, the Angels optioned left-hander Nick Maronde to Triple-A. The team will announce a corresponding roster move on Friday, and it's likely to be a position player so they can return to the traditional four-man bench and seven-man bullpen. Maronde had a 5.68 ERA and a 2.84 WHIP in 11 appearances.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read 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.