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04/25/11 8:34 PM ET

Angels hope Amarista can provide boost

ANAHEIM -- Before Monday's series opener against the Oakland A's, the Angels selected the contract of infielder Alexi Amarista and optioned outfielder Reggie Willits to Triple-A Salt Lake.

"He is an interesting and exciting player," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He has come on strong on our depth chart. He had a terrific spring and is off to a great start in Salt Lake.

"He can play second base and has played the outfield before, so he will take a little pressure off of some of our guys."

While Scioscia sees Amarista as a player who can add to the Angels' infield depth, he is also a player who can potentially help the struggling offense.

Amarista leads the Pacific Coast League in batting at .455 and has 16 RBIs in 14 games played.

"He is a good offensive player," Scioscia said. " If he is going to play, hopefully he will give us a boost.

"We don't want to put too much pressure on him though."

Banged-up Izturis available to pinch-hit

ANAHEIM -- A late scratch before Sunday's game against the Red Sox with left hamstring soreness, Maicer Izturis was available to pinch-hit in Monday's series opener against the Oakland A's, according to Angels manager Mike Scioscia.

"We don't really want him running the bases, but he will be available to pinch-hit," Scioscia said before the game. "He has a little bit of soreness, but it shouldn't be a concern going forward."

With Izturis day to day, the Angels called up infielder Alexi Amarista from Triple-A Salt Lake to give the infield more depth.

Izturis has swung a hot bat thus far, hitting safely in 14 of the 19 games he has played, and ranks tied for ninth in American League batting at .338.

Already tallying five three-hit games this season and eight multi-hit games, the Angels infielder, 30, has two home runs and nine RBIs this season, along with seven doubles.

Missing 61 games in three disabled list stints in 2010 (strained left forearm and right shoulder inflammation), Izturis has been placed on the DL nine times in his career.

Quinn Roberts is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.