Notes: Colon to start Saturday
Healthy, right-hander will face Mariners at Angel Stadium
BOSTON -- Bartolo Colon will make his return to the Angels' rotation Saturday night at home against the Mariners.
Jered Weaver will make his season debut on Tuesday night in Oakland, with John Lackey pitching Wednesday afternoon against the A's. Joe Saunders gets the call when the Angels return home on Friday night to open the weekend series with the Mariners.Colon, the 2005 American League Cy Young Award winner, was limited to 10 starts last season by a rotator cuff tear that sent him to the disabled list for good in July. Dealing for Triple-A Salt Lake in Las Vegas on Sunday, Colon hit the jackpot. He threw 95 pitches in seven scoreless innings, giving up three hits and a walk while striking out three. Reports from pitching instructor Charlie Nagy indicated the 33-year-old right-hander could have gone longer if necessary, manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's there," Scioscia said, referring to Colon's mid-90s fastball. "Bart's challenge now is to maintain it, not only in a game but from start to start. A lot of Bart's game is his ability to command the strike zone; that's his strength. "He's a guy who's going to be able to pitch when his stuff isn't that crisp, because he has that command. His talent is being able to get the ball in good zones. He's a pitcher; he knows what he's doing." Scioscia said there would be no need to impose "artificial restraints" on Colon. "He's got the ability to get over 100 pitches now. We'll evaluate as we go along." Rainout rescheduled: The Sunday game between the Angels and Red Sox that was postponed by rain will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader on Aug. 17 beginning at 10:05 a.m. PT. The regularly scheduled game that day starts at 4:05 p.m. The teams also will play on Saturday night at 4:05 p.m. and on Sunday at 11:05 p.m. Player input sought: In the afterglow of Jackie Robinson Day, and awareness of the diminishing African-American presence in the game he opened to all minorities, Major League players intend to organize and offer their insights and perspectives, Gary Matthews Jr. said. Matthews' former Texas teammate, Jerry Hairston, left a message on the Angels center fielder's phone Sunday night relating plans to involve current African-American players in the issue of the diminishing percentage of blacks in their game. Their ranks constituted only 8.4 percent of Major League rosters in 2006. "Obviously, it's something [MLB] wants to address, but it's something the players should address also," Matthews said. "I got a call from Jerry Hairston -- I was already asleep -- and the message was there's going to be a conference call with African-American players getting them to address issues about attracting young African-American kids to the game. What better way to start than with African-American kids in the game? "There are things to be addressed, so many factors, and I don't even know where to start. A lot of times in the inner city you don't have the funds for equipment. It's something I look forward to, as someone growing up in the L.A. area, having the opportunity to have an influence on kids in the inner city." Mother's day: Rained out of the opportunity to honor Robinson on Sunday with his peers, Matthews will wear No. 42 on Friday night when the Angels return home against Seattle. It will be a special occasion for Matthews for a variety of reasons, but mainly because his mother, Sandra Crayton, will be able to attend the game at Angel Stadium. "She watched the [Sunday night] game at Dodger Stadium," Matthews said, "and she was really moved by the ceremonies, and especially seeing Mrs. Robinson. My mom has the DirecTV [baseball] package and watches a lot of games, but to be able to be there live and watch me wear No. 42, that'll mean a lot to her. "I was a little disappointed yesterday, but not now that I've got the opportunity to wear it on Friday with her watching. There were plenty of players and teams who were represented, and this, on a personal note, works out really well for my family." Figgins throws: Drenched, frigid Fenway wasn't the ideal environment for testing his ability to throw a baseball on Sunday with a right hand recovering from two finger fractures. Chone Figgins said it "went OK," but he'll have a better idea how far along he is when the team reaches Oakland on Tuesday and he's able to give it another go. "He'll need at least four to five days to get stretched out, throwing across the diamond," Scioscia said. "We're hoping by early next week he'll start his rehab [assignment in the Minor Leagues]." Up next: Weaver is scheduled to make his 2007 debut against A's right-hander Chad Gaudin (0-0, 2.53 ERA) on Tuesday night at Oakland. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.