Jered Weaver is ready to make a rehab start after simulated game at Angel Stadium.

Jered Weaver

Jered Weaver threw a simulated game Friday, his first since going on the disabled list April 8. (Associated Press)

Jered Weaver couldn’t sleep last night. He had a big game today.

It was a simulated game with no fans, and only a few players and media and coaches, in attendance. But Weaver was psyched up.

“That’s how excited I was,” he said. “I haven’t been able to do it (pitch) in five weeks.”
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Daily Distractions: Fishing for answers in Salt Lake.

Mark Trumbo

Mark Trumbo’s power is unquestioned. Who can save the Angels’ sinking ship remains to be seen. (Keith Birmingham/Staff Photographer)

Many comparisons have been made between the 2013 Angels and the 2012 Angels, with both teams beginning the season with high expectations and underachieving badly in the first month. Here’s another point to consider: The Angels’ answer a year ago didn’t come from their major-league ranks.

Rather, it came from Triple-A Salt Lake in the form of Mike Trout. Trout was batting .403/.467/1.091 when he bid the Pacific Coast League adieu, likely for a long time. The biggest problem facing the Angels now is health, with Ryan Madson, Kevin Jepsen, Mark Lowe, Sean Burnett and Jered Weaver forming a potent disabled list. If the five are healthy, 2013 is a different story already.

Since they’re not, it’s tempting – but disappointing – to peek at who’s waiting in the wings at Triple-A. There is no Mike Trout.

If you’re looking for pitching help, the Bees’ top five starters are 6-12 with a 6.43 earned-run average. That doesn’t include recent signee Kip Wells, who allowed two runs in seven innings in his debut Sunday. And it’s not as if the Angels aren’t already auditioning arms — they’ve used 18 pitchers already this season with a 19th, Ryan Brasier, on the 25-man roster waiting to make his debut. No major-league team has used more than 19 pitchers this season.

As position players go, Luis Jimenez has been a nice lift in the lineup and on the field since being recalled. But a number-nine hitter can only do so much; his three singles in 11 at-bats with runners in scoring position (.273, two RBIs) are sadly above average for this team (.225).

Bill Hall and Matt Young, two veterans who vied for major-league jobs in spring training, are hitting .206 and .241, respectively. Brad Hawpe is batting .237 with one home run to show for his first 38 at-bats.

So it’s probably not a question of who is ready to step up from Triple-A. It’s who will start pitching, who will start hitting, and who is available on the trade market?

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Daily Distractions: Jered Weaver’s new toy, Troy Percival, Bobby Abreu, etc.

Jered Weaver

Angels pitcher Jered Weaver is using a bone stimulator, which is not nearly as dirty as it sounds. (Still frame of video shot by ESPN)

Jered Weaver mentioned last week that he was using a non-intrusive device called a “bone stimulator” on his broken elbow.

Albert Pujols used one in 2011 to heal from a wrist fracture. That injury was supposed to knock him out 4-6 weeks. The recovery time was cut in half.

Dr. David Geier, an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist in Charleston, South Carolina, told me the device has been in use for about 10 years and “there’s not a lot of great data for those.”

The mechanics are fairly simple, Geier said: It’s a black box that delivers a pulse to the affected area, either electronically or via ultrasound.

“The thought is, it stimulates bones to heal faster,” he said. “It won’t make you heal in two days when it could be three months, but if it gets you back a week faster, it’s worth the cost when you’re paying kids all this money. There’s not a lot of data, but there’s no downside to it at all. They tweak the ways energy is delivered, but the idea has been around for a while.”

A couple notes for a Tuesday morning:

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Angels’ ace Jered Weaver diagnosed with broken elbow, will miss a minimum of four weeks.

JeredxWeaver

Jered Weaver ducks out of the way of Mitch Moreland’s line drive Sunday in Arlington, Texas. Weaver suffered a non-displaced radial head fracture of his left elbow while bracing his fall. (Still frame of video shot by ESPN)

The Angels will be without their best pitcher for the next month and maybe beyond.

The team announced Tuesday that right-hander Jered Weaver broke his left elbow while trying to get out of the way of a line drive in Sunday’s game against the Texas Rangers. Weaver was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Sunday and right-hander Dane De La Rosa was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake.

The non-displaced radial head fracture will cost Weaver at least four weeks.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website, the injury can occur when, in trying to break one’s fall, the force of the fall travels up the lower forearm bones and fractures the smaller bone (radius) in the forearm.

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