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Scioscia: Hamilton needs 'a lot of evaluation'

ANAHEIM -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Tuesday that outfielder Josh Hamilton (right shoulder surgery) will report to the club's training facility in Arizona in the near future to begin baseball activities.

"We'll see where Josh is," the manager said. "A lot of evaluating needs to take place, both on and off the field. I know Josh is itching to get going.

"I think it's an important first step. Hopefully he makes a seamless transition into baseball activities and gets into rehab games soon."

An arbitrator ruled at the beginning of the month that Hamilton could not be suspended after he self-reported a violation of Major League Baseball's Drug Prevention and Treatment Program during the offseason.

"Every day, I think, brings a little bit of clarity to the situation," said Scioscia, who talked to Hamilton while the Angels were in Houston over the weekend. "The help and support needed will be provided."

Hamilton, 34, was the 2010 American League MVP while with the Texas Rangers. This is his third season with the Angels, who still owe him $83 million on a five-year, $125 million free-agent contract signed before the 2013 season.

"It's encouraging that there's progress, in a baseball direction," Angels closer Huston Street said of Hamilton heading to Arizona. "This is a better club with a healthy Josh Hamilton."

Earl Bloom is a contributor to
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