OAKLAND -- Asked about Josh Hamilton's struggles at the plate, Angels hitting coach Jim Eppard sees what so many others see: "He's swinging at pitches that he can't hit."
There's no real science to it. Hamilton has simply been very impatient in his first month with the Angels, even by his standards.
Heading into Tuesday's game against the A's, which saw him get dropped to fifth against a right-handed starter for the first time this season, Hamilton had swung at 45.2 percent of pitches out of the strike zone, which ranks third in the Majors behind only Pablo Sandoval (Giants, 48.5 percent) and Yuniesky Betancourt (Brewers, 45.7 percent). He continues to chase the breaking ball on the outside corner, and because of that has seen the second-lowest percentage of fastballs in baseball (44.3 percent).
In Monday night's 10-8, 19-inning loss to the A's, Hamilton went 0-for-8 with three strikeouts, dropping his slash line to .202/.246/.298 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with one day left in April. His 32 strikeouts entering Tuesday were tied for eighth in the Majors.
"I just know there's a lot more in him," Eppard said. "At any time, he can get hot and be the guy that we're looking for. He's just not there yet."
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.