Wednesday, June 18, 2008

By Chuck Richter - Executive Editor

The Good news - Howie Kendrick, Chone Figgins and now Erick Aybar are back with the big league club. John Lackey who made his first start of the season on May 14th, has been lights out for the Angels, throwing at least 7 innings in each of his 7 starts this season, with 5 of those 7 starts giving up just 1 run.

Kelvim Escobar was back on a major league mound Tuesday for the first time since October, throwing 76 pitches in a workout he called "a big step for me." An 18-game winner in 2007, Escobar went on the disabled list in March with a torn muscle in his shoulder. But Tuesday he threw 30 pitches to a catcher, then pitched a two-inning simulated game in which he faced four Angels hitters. Scioscia said the Angels will wait to see how Escobar feels in a day or two before scheduling another simulated game. If there are no setbacks, Escobar could be sent out on a minor-league rehab assignment before the end of the month.

On the minor league front, Jeremy Haynes (shoulder) made his season debut for the Quakes last Friday and quickly learned how tough the California League can be, especially when your command isn't there. Just ask Sean O'Sullivan, Tommy Mendoza, David Herndon and recently demoted to Low-Class A, Trevor Bell.

Hank Conger (labrum tear) ranked #3 on our Top 50 Prospect List, is back with the Quakes (as we noted 3 weeks ago) and DH'ing for now, but he's almost ready to strap on the catchers' gear and get behind the plate again as the shoulder is feeling good, just waiting for the doc's blessing.

28th ranked prospect, Second baseman Ryan Mount was activated off the DL after rehabbing in Arizona on the same day as Conger, and has been solid for the Quakes thus far. Mount hit a walk off 3-run HR tonight for Rancho Cucamonga.

Reliever Ryan Aldridge who was promoted to Arkansas over a week ago after dominating California League hitters, missed the entire 2007 campaign but has been lights out since returning to action a month ago, giving up just 1 run in 13.1 innings, while fanning 17 batters.

Chris Pettit, the Angels 9th ranked prospect who broke his foot after just a couple weeks of action with the Travelers, is headed to the AZL Angels club and he'll rehab there for a few games and then report back to the Travelers to finish off his season.

The Bad News - Matt Sweeney, 6th ranked prospect, is out for the season after having ankle surgery today. According to Matt, they had to re-connect a bone, remove bone chips and retie 4 ligaments in his ankle. They repaired both sides of Sweeney's ankle so we're not going to see him until next season, unless he's good to go in the AFL.

Terry Evans who placed on the DL on May 21st with a torn labrum and is rehabbing in Arizona. Evans injured his shoulder trying to break up a double play earlier in May, but kept playing despite the pain, potentially making it worse. There is no time table for his return to the Bees.

Cedar Rapids starting pitcher, Mason Tobin was placed on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain and LHP Chris Armstrong will join the Kernels from Salt Lake of the PCL.

Update from Baseball America (June 24th, 2008)

Los Angeles Angels
Signed: RHP Abraham Gonzalez (NDFA—JC of the Desert (Calif.)), RHP Josh Keller (NDFA—Oregon State), RHP Nick Pugliese (NDFA—Stetson)
Draft picks signed: RHP Tyler Chatwood (2), LHP Buddy Boshiers (4), LHP Drew Taylor (34)
Optioned to Triple-A: SS Sean Rodriguez
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Derek Schlecker, RHP Juan Chevalier, RHP Michael Kohn, RHP Nick Veras, RHP Pedro Herrera, RHP Ryan Chaffee, RHP Tremayne Holland, LHP Gustavo Espinoza
Placed on 60-day DL: RHP Jon Bachanov, RHP Young-Il Jung, SS Chris Lewis
Transferred to 60-day DL: 3B Matt Sweeney
Reinstated from DL: RHP David Austen, RHP Jeremy Haynes, OF Adam Greenberg, OF Peter Bourjos

Bachanov, a supplemental first-rounder and the club’s top pick in 2007, is recovering from Tommy John surgery.

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