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Shuck recalled, puts demotion behind him

MLB.com

SEATTLE -- J.B. Shuck had done everything he could. He contributed a solid season as basically an everyday player in 2013, batting .293 while leading American League rookies in plate appearances (478), then put together a solid Spring Training.

And that still wasn't enough to land a spot on the Angels' bench to start the season.

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SEATTLE -- J.B. Shuck had done everything he could. He contributed a solid season as basically an everyday player in 2013, batting .293 while leading American League rookies in plate appearances (478), then put together a solid Spring Training.

And that still wasn't enough to land a spot on the Angels' bench to start the season.

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"It was tough," Shuck said from Safeco Field on Wednesday, shortly after being recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake, with Josh Hamilton set for surgery on his left thumb.

"Of course I wanted to be here. It was tough, but after a day or two, I got it in my head that I can't let it affect me or what I have to do."

Shuck -- beat out by the more versatile, right-handed-hitting Collin Cowgill for the backup outfield spot a couple of weeks ago -- batted .375 (9-for-24) with five runs scored and a home run in a five-game stint in the Pacific Coast League.

"I just tried not to think about it," the scrappy left-handed hitter said of his March 29 demotion. "I knew I had to go down there and do what I had to do to make sure I didn't have a bad attitude about it."

Over the next two months, as Hamilton recovers from a procedure that carries an estimated timeline of six to eight weeks, Shuck figures to get playing time while likely platooning in left field with Cowgill.

"Unfortunately, this is a terrible thing," Shuck said of Hamilton's injury. "He's a great guy and a great player. You hate to see something like this happen. You hope he recovers well and gets back to doing what he was doing."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, J.B. Shuck