08/03/07 2:00 AM ET
Notes: Big A credited for power dropoff
Cabrera says Halos' ballpark puts hitters in line-drive mentality
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
Budde ball: Ryan Budde, the Angels' new backup catcher behind Jeff Mathis with Mike Napoli on the disabled list, shakes his head in wonder as he ponders where he is and the winding path he traveled to get here.A six-year Minor Leaguer exposed to the Rule 5 Draft over the winter, Budde was claimed by the Phillies, meaning they had to keep him on their Major League roster or offer him back to the Angels. In the midst of a good spring, seemingly destined to catch for the Phils, he tore an oblique in mid-March, rendering him inactive for a month and a half. The Angels took him back, sent him to Triple-A Salt Lake and found that he'd made dramatic improvement offensively. Hitting .295 with some pop, he earned the call when Napoli (strained right hamstring) went to the DL. Defense, general manager Bill Stoneman explained, never was a question with Budde. But he was a .233 hitter in 434 Minor League games coming into this season with a season-high 13 homers in 2004 with Class A Rancho Cucamonga. "All of a sudden this year, he started hitting," Stoneman said, a development Budde attributes simply to "confidence, getting a chance to play." A native of Midwest City, Okla., who attended Oklahoma State University, Budde was thinking it might be all over when he found himself stuck in the Angels' system, going nowhere. Married last November, he said he was considering making automobile repair his new career. Now he's eagerly awaiting his first start after getting his exposure to the Majors in Seattle as a late-inning insertion, flying out in his first big-league at-bat and catching the final two innings on Wednesday night in relief of Mathis. "Pretty amazing," Budde said, grinning, "just being here." Minor sensations: Bobby Wilson, right behind Budde on the catching depth chart, drove in six runs with a homer and double in a 13-7 win over Albuquerque on Wednesday. Wilson, a 24-year-old native of Dunedin, Fla., is hitting .321 in 16 games after batting .271 in 50 games for Double-A Arkansas. Ervin Santana went six innings, giving up six earned runs on 13 hits, but reports informed Scioscia that the right-hander's command (one walk, seven strikeouts) was good and it was a better effort than the linescore suggests. Erick Aybar, injured on July 1, played his first game since undergoing right wrist surgery. He had an RBI single in four at-bats and played shortstop. On Aug. 2 in Angels history: The late Lyman Bostock was 3-for-3 with a homer and four RBIs in an 8-2 win over the A's in 1978, and six years later, Fred Lynn went 4-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs in a 14-2 rout of Minnesota.
Up next: Dustin Moseley (4-1, 4.37 ERA) faces A's left-hander Lenny DiNardo (5-6, 3.10) on Friday at 7:05 p.m. PT at McAfee Coliseum.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.