Just as Jon Garland is starting to shine with the Angels, the other half of the trade that brought him here doesn’t seem to be going well. Orlando Cabrera had four hits Monday, including the game winner for the White Sox, but the big story in Chicago was that Cabrera’s status of a team leader has come into question. It all apparently started with a couple of Cabrera calls to the press box to have scoring calls changed in his favor. Not afraid to speak on any subject, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said he wasn’t too proud of his shortstop. Now comes news out of Cleveland, where the White Sox are playing Tuesday, that general manager Ken Williams has weighed in on the subject. Not good.
The Angels are not taking batting practice right now as they usually do in advance of tonight’s game against the Detroit Tigers. Manager Mike Scioscia not only told his players they did not need to hit today but they were allowed to arrive to the ballpark as late as 5 p.m. for the 7:05 p.m. start. Scioscia said that the team had been working extremely hard on its hitting of late and weren’t showing any progress. They won 1-0 in 12 innings Monday, scoring the winning run on a bases-loaded walk. So Scioscia hopes that by taking a step back it might help things. We will find out shortly.
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.”
Looks like that one game Chone Figgins played last week before suffering another hamstring setback is all he will get before going on the DL again. Nothing is official but manager Mike Scioscia sounds like he is ready to put Figgins on the shelf. The update with Figgins’ latest injury is that it actually is in a different place than the original hamstring strain. This latest problem is more in the hamstring tendon where the previous injury was more in the muscle.
“We’re going to have to make a decision with Figgy in a couple of days,” Scioscia said. “He’s making progress but I think we’re into Day 5 now so we’ll have to make some significant progress in the next couple of days to project him getting out there to play. We’re going to give it as much time as we can but also make sure that his needs are met to get healthy.”