Vlad in the field for first time in 2009
Scioscia says move gives Angels more versatility
ANAHEIM -- For the first time this season, Vladimir Guerrero was in the field on Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles."We think he is ready, he has worked out," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said before the 9-6 win. "He has been through some workouts this week and got clearance to play. "I think it is going to help us have more lineup options if he can go out there and play right field to ween him back into the lineup." Guerrero, who had solely been a designated hitter in 2009 before starting in right field on Sunday, began throwing from the outfield to bases a few days ago and has been shagging balls. However, Scioscia expects Guerrero to be a little stiff as he begins to play more. "We are going to slowly fold him into the rotation," Scioscia said. "He won't be playing back-to-back games any time soon, but it is important for him to get readjusted out there in right."
Guerrero handled three chances, and he made one strong throw that suggested he's fully recovered from the torn pectoral muscle that cost him 35 games on the disabled list.With such a strong arm back in the outfield, teammates know what an asset Guerrero can be to the team. "Vladimir will get his feet under him, just to give him time, but he has the ability to make some great plays," said center fielder Torii Hunter. Used as a designated hitter since coming off of the disabled list May 25, playing in right field could help Guerrero get back into a groove. "He wants to play," Hunter said. "I think he gets into a rhythm when he can play in the field and hit as opposed to just hitting. I think he really just wants to be out there and be active." In 43 games this season, Guerrero is batting .285 with 47 hits, three home runs and 18 RBIs.
Quinn Roberts is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.