New Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton, shown with owner Arte Moreno in December,… (Chris Carlson / Associated…)
TEMPE, Ariz. — Josh Hamilton admitted after his first spring-training workout with the Angels on Tuesday that he’s been juicing … fruits and vegetables, that is.
Hamilton also cut out bread and processed foods and is trying to eat gluten-free, a diet that has resulted in the team’s new right fielder reporting to camp at 225 pounds, some 20 to 30 pounds lighter than his usual spring weight with the Texas Rangers.
Hamilton added that he’s limiting himself to “about half a cup of coffee every now and then.” The slugger struggled in the second half of 2012, in part because of withdrawal symptoms after he quit chewing tobacco and subsequent vision problems caused by excessive caffeine consumption.
“My body feels better,” said Hamilton, the five-time All-Star who signed a five-year, $125-million deal in December. “My energy level is up.”
Hamilton entered camp with the Rangers between 245 and 255 pounds, but after a summer playing in the stifling heat and humidity of Texas, he’d usually weigh about 225 pounds by the end of the season. A more moderate climate in Anaheim should allow Hamilton to maintain a more consistent weight.
“I figured I could come into camp at a weight I feel good at and maintain that all year,” Hamilton, 31, said. “In past years, you’d lose all that weight and get tired. Hopefully, I won’t have to battle it all year like I did in Texas.”
Hamilton was not required to report to camp until Thursday, in advance of the Angels’ first full-squad workout Friday, but he wanted to get his wife and four daughters settled into their temporary home in Arizona and get his bearings in a new complex and with a new team.
“You don’t want to come out here in stress mode, so I wanted to get out three or four days before it starts and get a feel for things,” Hamilton said. “It wasn’t weird putting on a new uniform; it was just weird being in a new place with new people.”
Hamilton took batting practice with Albert Pujols, who is recovering from minor surgery on his right knee, on a lower field and took some fly balls in right field.
“We’ve known each other in passing, and we’ve shared Scripture on the bases, but today was the first day I got to spend a little time with him,” Hamilton said of Pujols. “I’ve always heard that he takes his job seriously, works hard, stays focused and does his best to win ballgames. You can see that.
“It’s going to be exciting to hit behind someone who is thought of so highly, who is one of the best hitters in the game. I’m going to pick his brain. It’s going to be fun.”
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