Notes: Revolving door for Halos
Anderson, Izturis, Mathis and Resop join club in Arlington
ARLINGTON -- Program sales must be brisk when the Angels come to town. You never know who's going to be wearing their uniform and gracing the lineup.The Angels brought Major League Baseball's best record (51-31, a half-game better than Boston) into a three-game series with Texas on Tuesday night. Manager Mike Scioscia would trace this development primarily to the organization's uncommon depth -- if, that is, he addressed such peripheral matters as records and standings in July. He claims he doesn't pay much attention to those things until September. "We've had a lot of guys come through for us, all year," Scioscia said, getting ready to watch the latest version of his American League West Division leaders in action. "Our organizational depth has really showed itself." Arriving to join the troupe in the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington were Garret Anderson, Maicer Izturis, Jeff Mathis and Chris Resop. Departing: Mike Napoli, Erick Aybar, Nick Gorneault and Hector Carrasco. Both Napoli, with a deep bone contusion in his left shin, and Aybar, needing right wrist surgery to remove the hook of the hamate bone, are out indefinitely. Napoli figures to be back much sooner than Aybar, whose role as all-purpose infielder will be filled by Izturis during Aybar's projected absence of six to eight weeks. With Napoli mending for at least two weeks, Jose Molina moves in as the No. 1 catcher. Mathis, the 2001 first-round pick, will be his backup. Anderson served as the DH on Tuesday but is capable of returning to left field, Scioscia said. The quickness had returned to his stroke when Anderson aggravated his right hip flexor on June 16, returning to the DL. "Garret says he's ready to play the outfield -- he feels good," Scioscia said.
Anderson played in six games during his rehab at Class A Rancho Cucamonga, where pitcher Justin Speier continues to throw, his return from an intestinal virus also apparently imminent.Scioscia said Speier could be back before the All-Star break on Monday. The veteran right-hander worked 4 2/3 innings against California League competition, trying to regain the edge along with his strength and stamina. Carrasco departs: Designated for assignment, Carrasco, who'd struggled to find his command and was hit hard lately, leaves a personality void. Carrasco, always upbeat and one of the game's truly good guys, will be missed for his versatility and his endearing manner. "It was tough letting him go," said Scioscia, who called on Carrasco in a wide variety of roles after his arrival in 2006. "He's a terrific guy. We loved having him around, and he pitched a lot for us. Hector was always ready to take the ball and do whatever he could for the ballclub." Carrasco was 7-3 with a 3.41 ERA in 56 appearances last year, three as a starter. In 29 appearances this season, one as a starter, he was 2-1 with a 6.57 ERA. The home-run ball was his downfall -- he yielded eight bombs in 38 1/3 innings, leaving too many fastballs up in the strike zone. Resop, a 24-year-old right-hander, was 1-3 with a 4.57 ERA in 27 games for Triple-A Salt Lake, where he walked 16 and struck out 39 in 45 1/3 innings. In 22 games for the Marlins last year, Resop, a native Floridian, was 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA. "He's a power arm," Scioscia said. "The thing we like is the last month, he's thrown strikes. He's got a good combination of a power fastball and a breaking pitch, and he's getting them over the plate -- which is what he didn't do this spring." Resop was acquired from Florida last November for right-hander Kevin Gregg. Molina takes command: With Napoli out, Molina will handle the bulk of the catching. His start on Tuesday was his 29th, compared to 54 by Napoli, who injured his left leg blocking the plate and applying the tag on Melvin Mora for the final out of Sunday's dramatic win in Baltimore. Vladimir Guerrero's powerful throw had reached Napoli in time to make the tag, but not without a serious collision. "He's got the ability to lead a staff," Scioscia said of Molina, whose brothers, Bengie and Yadier, are No. 1 catchers in San Francisco and St. Louis, respectively. "Jose's a terrific defensive catcher. Our goal is to have interchangeable parts. Jose's got a comfort level with our pitchers, and they also have a good relationship with Jeff." Mathis struggled offensively (.145 in 23 games) with the Angels last year but found his stroke (.289) at Salt Lake. He was hitting .244 for the Bees with five homers and 26 RBIs in 66 games when he was recalled. "One thing that has really kicked in with Jeff is what he's done behind the plate," Scioscia said. "The No. 1 focus on [Salt Lake manager] Brian Harper's game reports on Jeff are about how well he's done handling pitchers and calling a game. We're excited to have him; Jeff has the ability to be a front-line catcher." Up next: Jered Weaver (6-4, 3.35) faces Rangers right-hander Jamey Wright (1-2, 6.38) on Wednesday at 5:35 p.m. PT.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.