OAKLAND -- Kendry Morales, lost to the Angels since May 29 after sustaining a lower left leg injury requiring surgery, is on schedule to be fully healed by Spring Training, manager Mike Scioscia said on Friday.
"His rehab is going well," Scioscia said. "There should be no long-term effects. He should be 100 percent by Spring Training."
Morales has visited teammates recently on crutches, assuring them that he'll be banging away when the athletes meet in Arizona to get ready for the 2011 season.
"Kendry feels good -- even though he really misses playing," shortstop Erick Aybar said. "It's been a rough year for him. He said he'll be ready to go next spring."
Haren enjoys closer look at Weaver's work
OAKLAND -- Dan Haren has watched Jered Weaver evolve professionally over the years, his appreciation of Weaver's craftsmanship increasing as they have bonded as Angels teammates since Haren's July 25 acquisition from the D-backs.
"What's impressed me about Weav is he's throwing 91, 92 [mph] and he has 200 strikeouts already," Haren said. "You look at a majority of guys at the top of the strikeout list, they're throwing 95 like Felix [Hernandez]. Weav's got a tremendous changeup, curveball, slider. It's been fun to watch him."
There are distinct physical and stylistic similarities between the strapping Southern California natives who refined their skills as collegians -- Haren at Pepperdine, Weaver at Long Beach State. Both have deceptive deliveries that serve to disrupt hitters' timing, Haren with his hesitation mid-delivery, Weaver with his sweeping arm action across his body.
Weaver, tied with Seattle's Hernandez for the Major League strikeout lead with 200 in 182 innings pitched, draws another ace in the Athletics' Trevor Cahill in Saturday's matinee at Oakland-Alameda Coliseum. Haren, who knows the turf, will be watching with interest.
In his early breakout years with the A's after he was acquired from the Cardinals, Haren brought serious heat in the Hernandez class. But he's down in Weaver's velocity range now, the low 90s, and showing he can thrive with variety, precision and intelligence.
"I'm a different pitcher," Haren said. "In Oakland, I didn't have a cut fastball. My split is different. Everyone has to change their style at some point. I have some tread on my tires. But I keep myself in good shape."
The Angels figure to be in good shape down the road with Weaver and Haren fronting their rotation.
With lefty on hill, Angels sit red-hot Matsui
OAKLAND -- Primarily because of scheduling circumstances and pitching matchups, Hideki Matsui, the Angels' hottest hitter, was not in the lineup on Friday night in the series opener against the Athletics and southpaw Gio Gonzalez.
Bobby Abreu, who sat out Wednesday night's win in Seattle powered by Matsui with a two-run homer against lefty Jason Vargas, returned to the lineup in left field as the lone left-handed hitter against Gonzalez.
Matsui -- hitting .404 since Aug. 14 in 47 at-bats with 14 RBIs in his past 13 games -- will return to the lineup on Saturday, manager Mike Scioscia said, against A's right-hander Trevor Cahill in a duel of aces with Jered Weaver. Matsui has a homer in three at-bats against Gonzalez compared to Abreu's 0-for-9 history against the lefty.
"Bobby was off Wednesday, and he brings some things up there that are important to us," Scioscia said. "Gonzalez is a little different than Vargas. Gonzalez has a power breaking ball that is tough on some lefties.
"With the day game tomorrow, we wanted to keep some guys fresh. Torii [Hunter] is DHing in this game, and he'll be back in right [Saturday]. It's really a function of the day [after] night game."
Pineiro closer to return to Halos' rotation
OAKLAND -- Joel Pineiro, healthy enough to unleash some impressive long toss with Dan Haren in the football-ravaged outfield at Oakland-Alameda Coliseum before Friday night's game, is set for a 60-pitch, four-inning simulated game on Tuesday when the Angels return home.
Pineiro will have another bullpen session this weekend, manager Mike Scioscia said, in preparation for the tuneup at Angel Stadium.
"We'll see where he is," Scioscia said, "see if he's game-ready. We'll get him in a game for a few innings and see if he's able to go back in the rotation."
Pineiro has been sidelined since suffering a strained left oblique warming up before a July 28 start against Boston. Trevor Bell, making significant strides in the fifth spot in the rotation, went six innings to claim the win on Wednesday at Seattle. The right-hander has yielded four earned runs in 13 innings in his past two outings.
Saturday's showdown between Jered Weaver and the A's Trevor Cahill will be held at 1:10 p.m. PT and shown on a delayed basis at 7:30 p.m. on FSW. It will be broadcast live on 830 AM and 1330 AM. ... Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos and Triple-A Salt Lake first baseman Mark Trumbo were named to the All-Pacific Coast League team on Friday. ... Matt Palmer continued his solid work for Salt Lake, giving up one earned run across six innings in Thursday's 3-1 win over Fresno. Palmer has yielded two or fewer earned runs in five of his past seven outings and has a 2.72 ERA in 46 1/3 innings. ... At Class A Cedar Rapids, second baseman Jean Segura and outfielder Matt Long are both batting .310 with 12 triples. Segura has passed Mike Trout (promoted to high Class A Rancho Cucamonga) by two steals, with 47. Long has 23 steals.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.