Willits may rejoin Angels on road swing
Outfielder on rehab stint after pulling hamstring in March
ANAHEIM -- Angels outfielder Reggie Willits played in his third rehab game with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday and could rejoin the Angels on their road trip next week, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Sunday.
Willits, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring, went 0-for-5 with a strikeout on Saturday and is batting .182 (2-for-11) in three games. But Scioscia said he's not worried about Willits' numbers because it's his first action since he suffered the hamstring strain on March 14 against the Cubs in Cactus League action.
"Reggie will play today and tomorrow, and he's eligible Wednesday, so we'll evaluate where he is. Like any guy who's been down for a while, he's searching for some things at the plate. We'll see how it goes."
Willits is a career .265 hitter with a .365 on-base percentage and 38 stolen bases in 295 big league games with the Angels. The 28-year-old brings versatility to the club with his ability to play all three outfield positions and can serve as pinch-runner or pinch-hitter late in games.
Scioscia unfazed by staff's early struggles
ANAHEIM -- Angels pitchers had allowed a Major League-high 11 home runs entering Sunday's game against the A's, but Halos manager Mike Scioscia insisted before the series finale that he wasn't worried.
Scioscia said it's too small of sample size through the season's first six games to start to worry about a trend of allowing home runs at an alarming rate. The Angels were close to the middle of the pack last year when they surrendered 181 home runs, which was the 11th-most in baseball. And Scioscia said that there was likely a streak last season when his club allowed a similar total in a six-game stretch.
"It happened last year, too, because you can take any little cross section of the season and say you gave up 10 home runs over this many games or you only averaged three runs over 10 games," Scioscia said. "But everything is magnified at the beginning of the year and the end of the year."
It's the same reason why he wasn't concerned with his club's 5.50 ERA entering Sunday's game and the fact that the bullpen had surrendered 12 runs in its past eight innings of work after opening the season by tossing 11 scoreless frames.
"These statistics are naked right now," Scioscia said. "So there are going to be some things when guys are getting hit around a little bit that are going to be ugly. We've given a lot of home runs, but we have some power arms that are going to go after hitters, and sometimes hitters are going to get a hold of it."
Rodney bounces back from tough outing
ANAHEIM -- Angels reliever Fernando Rodney's second appearance with his new club didn't exactly go to plan on Thursday when he allowed four runs in just one inning against the Twins.
But Rodney bounced back in his next appearance on Saturday when he threw a perfect ninth inning against the A's and got his first win when Hideki Matsui hit a walk-off RBI single to win it in the bottom of the ninth.
Scioscia thinks Rodney has an advantage late in games because he's served as both a setup reliever and closer during his career and can handle any situation.
"If you used to be a closer and your mind-set is that you'll pitch in any role, you'll be effective at that, and I think that's where Fernando is right now," Scioscia said. "He feels good in any role we're going to pitch him. He just wants to get out there and get outs."
Bittersweet reminder awaits in Big Apple
ANAHEIM -- The Angels will get what Angels manager Mike Scioscia called a "bittersweet" reminder about last season's postseason when they watch the Yankees receive their World Series rings before Tuesday's game at Yankee Stadium.
After all, the Yankees knocked the Halos out of the playoffs in the American League Championship Series in six games en route to their 27th World Series title.
So Scioscia said his club will watch the pregame ceremony and it will help create a visual goal of how they want to open their season next year at Angel Stadium with a similar ceremony.
"You're always going to be interesting in watching and seeing what the rings look like," Scioscia said. "That's what all of us are playing for. I'm sure they're going to be beautiful. I guess we're a little jealous because they beat us last year in the Championship Series and they had a great team and went on to win the World Series."
Hideki Matsui will receive his ring his ring while wearing Angels red during the ceremony and joins Scot Shields as the only players in the Angels clubhouse to have experienced the joy of winning the World Series.
Scioscia, though, has experienced it three times -- he won rings as a player with the Dodgers in 1981 and '88 and as a manager with the Angels in '02 -- and said the ceremonies are always special but that he doesn't ever wear the rings.
"I think I've worn mine maybe four times," Scioscia said. "I think once you have one, you don't have to wear one. I think, as a player, that feeling you get doing on the field is signified by the ring, but it's not so much about the tangible ring, it's that feeling you carry everywhere. It's something where you walk a little taller the rest of your playing career and probably your life."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.