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Billy Hamilton making progress after surgery

Posted at 3:40 PM, Feb 16, 2016

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Center fielder Billy Hamilton long-tossed on Tuesday. It was the first time he’s done so since having the surgery on his right shoulder in September.

“I threw before I got here,” he said. “It’s just a process of how far. I long-tossed today for first time. Everything felt good. I’m where I expected to be. I’m doing fine.”

Hamilton said he’s throwing pain-free on nearly every throw, but he has to keep diligent on his mechanics. If he doesn’t, he feels it.

“That’s going to be there if I don’t throw it right,” he said. “(Trainer Steve Bauman) told me that. There’s no pain when I do it the right way. I’ve got to be focused and throw the ball the right way.”

The shoulder injury kept Hamilton from doing baseball activities for most of the offseason. He resumed Jan. 1.

Hamilton, 25, is entering an important year. He hit .226/.274/.289 last year after hitting .250/.292/.355 as a rookie. He stole one more bases (57) in 14 fewer attempts last year, and his defense was top notch. But he knows he has to hit more.

Because Hamilton is coming off surgery, he is allowed to begin workouts with the pitchers and catchers on Thursday.

“It’s a good thing,” he said. “I'm here anyway. I might as well work out. I’m in Arizona early every year. I want to get here early and have everything situated.”

Hamilton spent most of the offseason in Cincinnati.

“It’s good to get out of that cold,” he said. “I left right before the big snowstorm. Some of my friends called me. They said I ain’t missing nothing.”