ST. PETERSBURG -- Mike Scioscia said Scott Kazmir still needs to work through certain issues during his rehabilitation from back soreness to regain the excellence he had with the Rays.
Kazmir went to the 15-day disabled list after one bad start in Kansas City on April 3 with soreness in his lower back. He went home to Houston for three days and studied video from various stages of his career with Ron Wolforth, an independent pitching instructor he has known since high school.
The 27-year-old lefthander, who has been in Arizona for several sessions, pitched on Thursday as a part of his rehabilitation and will make one more start before pitching at least one game for Triple-A Salt Lake.
"There's still kind of mixed results," Scioscia said. "Some things he's feeling good with. There's some good sliders and changeups and the fastball command is something that has to keep moving forward with Scott, and I know he's working really hard on it. Physically, he feels fine. I think all the issues are behind him, and just now, it's about getting after it and getting to where he needs to be."
Kazmir allowed five runs on five hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings on April 3rd against the Royals.
Wells suffering through up-and-down season
ST. PETERSBURG -- A little over a week ago, Vernon Wells seemed to have generated some momentum at the plate, going 10-for-30 in seven games to raise his batting average from a season-low .091 blip to a .189 mark.
But just as quickly as the good vibe appeared, it suddenly has dissipated. The 32-year-old outfielder is mired in a 4-for-27 skid since the brief offensive barrage.
Angels manager Mike Sciosia spent an extended period of time with Wells before Friday's game against the Rays in St. Petersburg. Sciosia said the biggest thing Wells needs to do is find peace at the plate.
"I just think he's trying to do too much," Sciosia said. "We talked to him about relaxing and taking a breather and without getting too much into the specifics, just communicating and trying to get ideas and concepts going back and forth to see if we can do something to get a player in a comfort zone."
Sciosia said Wells and Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher have worked together on certain drills to eliminate a slope in his swing from trying to hit home runs.
"We've been talking about some things we can get him on board with, things we can help him with," Sciosia said. "I think his swing is getting a little too big at times, maybe trying to contribute by hitting three home runs a game. We just talked to him if there's any specifics we can help him with, gave him some of our observations. He feels good about it. He has a good frame of mind mentally and he trusts us with his talent and we do too."
Wells is coming off a season with the Blue Jays in which he batted .273, had 44 doubles and hit 31 home runs. He hit his first home run as an Angel on April 20, on the road against the Rangers, and has compiled just five RBIs so far this year after having 88 last season.
Izturis to play Saturday
ST. PETERSBURG -- Maicer Izturis will play on Saturday in the second game of the three-game set against the Rays in St. Petersburg, according to Mike Scioscia.
"He's feeling much better," Scioscia said. "He had a full workout today and if he comes in feeling good tomorrow, which we anticipate, he'll play tomorrow."
The Angels have handled Izturis with caution after the talented but fragile infielder experienced hamstring soreness before last Sunday's series finale against the Red Sox.
Izturis had his first plate appearance on Wednesday -- going 0-for-1 -- since playing a full game against the Red Sox last Saturday. Entering Friday, Izturis was tied for fifth in the American League in batting at .333 and had a .379 on-base percentage. He is in the top 20 in the American League with 27 hits and has two home runs, nine RBIs and seven doubles.
Equally adept at third base, shortstop and second, Izturis missed 61 games in 2010 (strained left forearm and right shoulder inflammation) and has visited the DL nine times in his career.
Kendrys' leg progressing slowly
ST. PETERSBURG -- The comeback saga of Kendrys Morales has reached somewhat of a stalemate, with the news that he is in Arizona working on his lower left leg.
Although Sciosia said before Friday's game against the Rays that the team is "still progressing as planned," the Angels manager also said the team will take as much time as possible before moving Morales along in his rehabilitation from surgery.
"The improvement's been slow," Sciosia said. "I don't think there's much we can do that's anything differently right now. We just have to be patient right now. There's a lot that's healing in there with his ankle. There's some parts that are very, very slow. We just have to be patient."
After being stalled again in his ongoing attempt to rejoin the Angels' lineup, Morales was examined by a foot specialist before Wednesday's series finale against the Athletics.
While Sciosia had said some word on the results from the examination would be available, he would not offer up any details on it before Friday's game.
Morales' inability to run at 100 percent and make the necessary cuts and turns on the bases is keeping him from returning, even though he has had no trouble swinging the bat and has been able to field ground balls at first base.
"Some days are better than others," he said with a shrug, the frustration evident in his expression. "I keep trying."
Morales, who played 51 games last year before fracturing his lower left leg on May 29 celebrating a game-winning grand slam, remains on the 15-day disabled list.
Chris Girandola is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.