Kotchman trying to find his stroke

One of the hottest hitters in baseball through the second half of May and into June, Angels first baseman Casey Kotchman has been mired in a slump since returning from a concussion suffered on June 16.

In 30 games before the injury, Casey Kotchman batted .450 (45 for 100) with 18 extra-base hits (10 doubles, two triples and six home runs) and 21 RBIs. But in the second game of the Angels' interleague series at Dodger Stadium, Kotchman was hit in the head by a pickoff throw as he dove back to second base. He suffered a mild concussion and needed three stitches to close a cut in the side of his head.

He sat out seven games and hasn't regained his stroke since. Kotchman went hitless in his first 19 at-bats after returning and reached the All-Star break 3 for 40 since the injury.

"I would say I'm seeing the ball fine. The overall results haven't been there on paper and that's all that really matters. That's a given," Kotchman said. "I'm not squaring the ball up as much as I'd like to or as much as I was before. Obviously, you give yourself more chances to get positive results if you're squaring the ball up more often.

"It's just a matter of getting your rhythm, your timing, everything back in sync. You get taken out of it (with an injury). I have to be patient. We always want things right now. It's human nature. ... I'm just trying to get back in the swing of things. It takes time."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said the quality of Kotchman's at-bats has improved but the downturn after such a hot streak is not surprising.

"Casey was swinging the bat better than he ever has in his life for about six weeks. You're not always going to keep that pace," Scioscia said. "He's not far off. He's still having good at-bats and he'll be fine."

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