OAKLAND -- Josh Hamilton has no doubts about being able to play in next week's American League Division Series, but the Angels' outfielder is leaning toward not playing in the season-ending series in Seattle this weekend to avoid a setback and get some extra rest for the postseason.
"I can just use the extra days and then play," said Hamilton, who has played only once in the last 20 days due to ailments in his right AC joint, right shoulder, right chest and right rib cage. "I know your guys' thing is, 'Well, he hasn't had any at-bats, how's he gonna feel?' It doesn't really matter.
"I'm just going off past experiences. I've been through it before, missed a whole month of September, came back and played in the playoffs, did well. So, who knows what's going to happen?"
That was 2010, the year Hamilton was eventually named the American League's Most Valuable Player. He suffered two fractured ribs in a collision with the outfield wall, missed 24 games, came back with three regular-season games left, batted .111 in the ALDS and then was named MVP of the AL Championship Series.
"I'm still not totally ruling out [playing in Seattle]," Hamilton said. "Option's still there. We just don't want to have any setbacks. Doesn't hurt to breathe anymore, though."
Hamilton took some swings on Monday and Tuesday, took the day off to get treatment on Wednesday, will continue to work out in Seattle over the weekend and may see some pitches in a simulated game at Angel Stadium early next week. He's hardly thrown since first hurting his AC joint on Sept. 4, but the 33-year-old doesn't believe he'll be limited to designated hitter in the first round.
"Not really," said Hamilton, batting .263 with 10 homers and 44 RBIs in 89 games. "I've been throwing all year, so two or three weeks is not going to bother that. It's just different when the playoffs get here, man."
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.