06/01/11 10:24 PM ET
Scioscia maintains views on blocking plate
By Robert Falkoff / Special to MLB.com
"There are some techniques where you can protect yourself and soften the blow a little bit," Scioscia said. "But there are going to be some plays where you are going to be in an awkward position, and you just try to do the best you can to get a tag on a runner.
"I don't believe there is any re-evaluation of how we're going to teach it. I think it all comes down to individual preference of the catcher as to how much they are going to hang in there, and I don't think that's anything that has ever changed."
Oakland general manager Billy Beane recently issued a directive in which he told A's catcher Kurt Suzuki to focus on making the sweep tag rather than planting himself in front of the plate.
"There are definitely some plays that are going to turn into sweep tags and some plays where the ball is going to take you into the line of the runner," Scioscia said.
Scioscia said a catcher blocking the plate can often utilize the same techniques as a basketball player taking a charge.
"You definitely want your body in position to give," Scioscia said. "I think there is an art form to making a play at the plate."
Haren suffers back tightness in 'pen session
KANSAS CITY -- Angels right-hander Dan Haren had to cut short his Wednesday bullpen session when he "felt a little tweak in his back," according to manager Mike Scioscia.
"I didn't see it, but I guess he went down pretty hard," Scioscia said.
Haren was immediately escorted to the training room for an evaluation. The Angels later said Haren's problem was lower back tightness, and he will be examined again on Thursday after the club returns home. Haren, who is scheduled to start on Saturday against the Yankees, said he'll know more about whether he'll make that start based on Thursday's checkup.
"It depends on how I wake up," Haren said. "Even talking to the trainers, they don't know."
Haren is 5-3 with a 2.29 earned run average in 12 starts.
Angels to activate Kendrick on Saturday
KANSAS CITY -- Second baseman Howard Kendrick, who has recovered from a sore right hamstring, will be activated by the Angels on Saturday.
"He's ready to go," manager Mike Scioscia said.
Outfielder Vernon Wells (sore right groin) may not be far behind. Wells took batting practice on Wednesday and will continue to swing over the next couple of days before heading out for a a rehab assignment.
Scioscia said Wells needs only to work his torso and hands through a series of batting-practice sessions before beginning a Minor League rehab stint.
Morales has splint removed from left ankle
KANSAS CITY -- Kendrys Morales, who has been recovering from left ankle surgery, had a splint removed on Wednesday and will be in a hard cast until June 10.
The Angels said Morales will be re-evaluated at that time.
Morales hit .290 with 11 homers through 51 games in 2010.
Izturis gets breather in series finale
KANSAS CITY -- With the Angels playing for a 20th consecutive day, second baseman Maicer Izturis was not in the lineup on Wednesday. Alexi Amarista drew the start at second.
Izturis gets what amounts to a two-day break as the Angels will enjoy an off-day on Thursday.
"We're just trying to keep him fresh," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Izturis was hitting .286 through 46 games, but he was in a 7-for-46 slump (.152) over his last 13 games.
Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.