There were plenty of hugs and handshakes between Kelvim Escobar and his teammates Monday after the right-hander rejoined the Angels. Escobar has been on the disabled list all season with a torn right labrum. He has been doing shoulder exercises the past five months and might be closing in on a return after the All-Star break. The only question when he returns will be whether or not he helps out in the starting rotation or in relief.
Manager Mike Scioscia spoke about Escobar at length before Monday’s game.
“He’s going to throw a flat ground session in the middle of the week, probably Wednesday,” Scioscia said. :And then a week after he starts that progression, a week or 10 days later, it could lead to getting back on a mound and throwing off a mound. Once you cross that hurdle and you get out on a mound and get on a slope and are extending and don’t have any problems, you just build up stamina, pitch count, execution of pitches. That takes time though.
“It’s not you’re out on a mound and then, ‘OK, how are you?’ ‘Ready to go out and pitch.’ It’s going to take time. Now he’s into a spring training program routine where he’s off a mound throwing and throwing bullpens and progress to batting practice, into a rehab game. And if he’s a starter you stretch him out to 90-100 pitches. So there’s work ahead for Kelvim but he’s feeling real good right now.”
So he will be a starter when he returns then?
“We definitely want to get him stretched out and see where his stamina is and how he feels,” Scioscia said. “We’ll be open to anything as we move forward but with Kelvim it’s pretty premature to talk about what role he will come back in. There are some big steps that have to happen that he’s going to have to get his game together on the mound and that will take some time.”