Josh Hamilton is ready for his close-up. (Morry Gash / Associated…)
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Josh Hamilton is scheduled to make his Cactus League debut today, his first game appearance since signing a $125-million contract with the Angels last winter.
Hamilton is set to play left field and bat fourth, with the Angels rolling out something of a varsity lineup for the first time this spring.
The only regular not in the lineup is Albert Pujols, who is rehabilitating from knee surgery. Manager Mike Scioscia said he expects Pujols to play in Cactus League games within two weeks, in plenty of time to be ready for opening day.
The lineup includes third baseman Alberto Callaspo, whom Scioscia said reported to camp 18 to 20 pounds above his playing weight.
"He's trimmed it off," Scioscia said. "I don't think it was anything excessive. He's not far from his playing weight now."
The lineup also includes center fielder Peter Bourjos, who has reached base in all six plate appearances so far -- three walks, three singles. Bourjos batted .220 with a .291 on-base percentage last season; Scioscia started him just twice in the final two months of the season.
"Peter had the kind of year last year on the offensive side where he didn't get the looks he needed or wanted," Scioscia said. "He looks very comfortable in the box. We know what an incredible defender he is."
The lineup versus the Arizona Diamondbacks: Bourjos, cf; Erick Aybar, ss; Howie Kendrick, 2b; Hamilton, rf; Mark Trumbo, 1b; Vernon Wells, lf; Callaspo, 3b; Chris Iannetta, c; Bill Hall, dh, A.J. Schugel, p.
The game is to start at noon PST. It can be seen on Fox Sports West and heard on KLAA-AM (830).
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