Left-hander Sean Burnett wasn’t available to pitch Monday, and won’t be until Thursday at the earliest, after experiencing stiffness in his left forearm following a one-inning appearance Sunday.
“I’ve been dealing with it off and on the last two weeks,” Burnett said. “I’m just playing it safe.”
In part because of Burnett’s injury, in part because long reliever Jerome Williams is expected to start Wednesday, the Angels recalled left-hander Nick Maronde from Double-A Arkansas on Tuesday. Infielder Tommy Field was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake to make room for Maronde on the 25-man roster.
That leaves the Angels with nine relievers and only three position players available off the bench for tonight’s game against the Texas Rangers.
Burnett had surgery to remove bone spurs in his left elbow last October. He said that the tightness in his forearm is part of the recovery process. He’s also made a team-leading 10 appearances in the Angels’ first 18 games, which puts him on pace to pitch in 90 games this season. He doesn’t expect to keep that pace up, but he isn’t complaining either.
“The workload’s been fine,” Burnett said. “It’s more frustrating than anything. When I get out there I feel good.”
Maronde appeared in six games with Arkansas, allowing five runs in 7 ⅓ innings (a 6.14 ERA). Field appeared in three games as a defensive replacement without getting a plate appearance.
Time Warner Cable announced it will carry Spanish-language telecasts of 63 Angels games beginning tomorrow night.
Fox Sports Networks will produce these games for distribution by local Time Warner Cable systems to its customers, which will air locally on channel 858.
The Angels’ broadcast team will feature Amaury Pi-Gonzalez providing the play-by-play and Jose Mota with commentary and analysis. Here’s the complete schedule:
Josh Hamilton’s 4 for 4 performance Monday extended a career’s worth of success batting fifth, for whatever that’s worth. (Associated Press photo)
was 4 for 4 as the Angels’ number-five hitter last night. It wasn’t always pretty – two of the hits were weak infield grounders – but it allowed Hamilton to score twice.
“I don’t know what it is about the five hole but it seemed to work,” he said.
You’d think Hamilton would have figured this out by now. Here are his career splits by batting order position:
This is one of those tricky stats because of all the variables involved. For one, the number-five hitter is slightly more likely to bat against relievers than a number-three or number-four hitter. Given a large enough sample size, there will be a noticeable difference. (This wasn’t the case last night, when Jason Frasor relieved Derek Holland after number-eight hitter Chris Iannetta batted and doubled in the sixth inning.)
More importantly, when you see a player like Hamilton who gets a plurality of his at-bats in the three-hole then moves to the five-hole on occasion, it’s often because the manager made the move based on matchups. This was the case last night. Maybe Holland pitched Hamilton differently because he didn’t want to face Howie Kendrick , who owns a 1.074 career OPS in 43 career head-to-head at-bats. Maybe he pitched Hamilton differently because Hamilton’s batting average was below .200.
Either way, it was a good matchup.
Mike Scioscia said that Hamilton is likely to move down in the lineup against right-handers tonight (Alexi Ogando) and tomorrow (Yu Darvish).
Maybe Scioscia will reconisder. There’s something about the five-hole.
Some bullet points for a Tuesday morning:
Josh Hamilton is playing the Texas Rangers today.
When the Angels and Rangers hooked up in spring training, that was enough to capture a few headlines. When the Angels visited Arlington, Texas in the opening week of the season, it captured even more.
Today, the story wasn’t about Hamilton facing his old team. That’s old news.
The story was in a lineup card that saw Hamilton batting fifth for the first time as an Angel and for the first time since July 29-31 of last season. Mark Trumbo will bat cleanup and Albert Pujols remains the number-three hitter against the Rangers and left-hander Derek Holland.
Tommy Hanson was placed on bereavement leave on Monday, leaving the Angels without their scheduled starter for Wednesday’s game against the Texas Rangers — and maybe beyond. The reason for Hanson’s absence was not immediately disclosed.
The right-hander can miss between three and seven games under MLB rules. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he is leaning toward using Jerome Williams in Hanson’s place on Wednesday.
Williams, who threw three innings to close out the Angels’ 13-inning win over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday, said his availability will be determined “the next couple days, how I feel. If (asked to start), I’ll be ready.”
Monday, hours before the Angels were set to play the Rangers, Williams said his arm felt fine. He’s 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA in five appearances, all out of the bullpen. He was 6-8 with a 4.83 ERA in 15 starts for the Angels last season.
Hanson, who starred at Redlands East Valley High School and Riverside Community College, is 2-1 with a 4.24 earned-run average in three starts with the Angels. He would be eligible to return to the team as early as Monday, April 29, when the Angels visit the Oakland A’s. Coincidentally, that game is Hanson’s next scheduled turn in the rotation.
Mark Trumbo was on top of the world Sunday night. At least it felt like it, leaping onto home plate (“four inches” off the ground, he joked) to make his game-winning home run against the Detroit Tigers official. MLB.com posted the above photo on its Twitter account and Trumbo got an unexpected reaction from the Twitterverse.
“Tons of backlash,” he said.
Derek Holland is 1-1 with a 1.64 earned run average in three starts for the Texas Rangers this season. (Associated Press photo)
The Angels’ opposing starter tonight entered the 2013 season with a 4.71 earned-run average and a 39-29 record. Derek Holland is three games into a new season and he’s already talking about winning a Cy Young Award.
So far he’s backing up the talk: Holland is 1-1 with a 1.64 earned-run average. His first win of the season came at the hands of the Angels back on April 5.
Holland may have bragging rights, but he may be the only Rangers starter who’s in a position to boast. Their pitching staff is experiencing a “crisis,” according to the Dallas Morning News.
So maybe it’s a good time for the Angels to be facing the Rangers, the current first-place team in the American League West. The Halos’ hole is deep enough that they will still be in third place in the division even if they manage a three-game sweep – following a three-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers.
First pitch is at 7:05.
Onto some bullet points:
It’s easy to see Tommy Hanson’s glass as half-empty.
Opponents are hitting for a .294 average against the Angels’ No. 5 starter, who has allowed 20 hits and six walks in 17 innings this season. He hasn’t pitched into the seventh inning in an Angels uniform, yet averaged 100 pitches in each of his three starts.
It doesn’t help that Hanson, along with Jason Vargas and Joe Blanton, combined for a 1-6 record with a 7.36 ERA entering Friday’s series opener with the Detroit Tigers. Even Hanson’s six shutout innings in Friday’s 8-1 win over Detroit could still be viewed through the glass half-empty. He did allow 10 of 28 batters to reach base.
“I didn’t like how I got myself into those jams,” Hanson said. “But I did get myself out of them. Either way, I’m planning on making 30 to 33 starts this season. So, good or bad, I’ve got to move on.”
Was Saturday’s start reason to see the glass as half-full?