07/21/12 8:37 PM ET
Frieri thrilled as mom makes first stadium visit
By Alden Gonzalez and Joe McIntyre / MLB.com
Now the Angels reliever is able to share it with his mother, who was absent for a big chunk of his childhood.
Frieri's mom, 47-year-old Ena Luz Gutierrez, made her first visit to the United States during the All-Star break, when she began staying at Frieri's house in Orange County. On Friday, she was at a professional baseball stadium for the first time ever and finally got a chance to see her son in a Major League uniform.
"I never even dreamed of any of this," Frieri said in Spanish. "Thing is, I never forget where I came from. I'm talking to you right now, and I have my mind on that family I came from; very humble, hard-working. They persevered. And just to know my mom is here watching me play in the big leagues -- I know how she must be feeling. I know she's very proud of me."
Frieri was born and raised in Colombia and was mainly raised by his grandmother. For most of his childhood, Frieri's mom worked outside of the country, mainly in Venezuela and Spain, to provide for the family.
It wasn't until just recently that Frieri convinced her she didn't need to work anymore because he could take care of her.
"She just wants to keep working," Frieri said, shaking his head. "She doesn't have a boyfriend -- that I know of -- and I tell her, 'Get a boyfriend.' Nothing. She's young, has a good personality. I said, 'Come to the United States, I'm going to get you a boyfriend.'"
Frieri isn't sure about the boyfriend part, but he did take her to Disneyland when she arrived and will be seeing her at the ballpark every day until she leaves next weekend, which marks the end of the Angels' nine-game homestand.
From Colombia, where she's been living permanently for the last few months, Ena kept a close eye on the Angels and knows all about guys like Mark Trumbo, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.
"I just wanted her to come here, to share this with me, to see all the great things that are happening with me here, so she could be proud of me," Frieri said. "Hopefully I can pitch in this series. I'm going to try to do the same job I always do, but hopefully I can make her happy."
Trout ties Angels, AL rookie record with run
ANAHEIM -- Mike Trout continues to set milestones.
In Saturday's 9-2 loss to the Rangers, Trout drew a two-out walk in the fifth inning against Yu Darvish, then stole second base and came around to score on a Torii Hunter single. That marked the 13th straight game in which Trout has scored a run, tying the Angels' franchise record and the American League rookie mark.
For the Angels, Jim Edmonds did the same in 1995.
In the AL, Don Lenhardt (1950 St. Louis Browns) and Jake Powell (1935 Washington Senators) scored a run in 13 straight games in each of their rookie seasons.
The 20-year-old Trout is leading the AL with a .354 batting average (20 points higher than the second-place Joe Mauer) and 31 stolen bases, to go along with 15 homers, 47 RBIs and 105 hits since his April 28 callup.
No player since 1920 has had that many RBIs, steals or hits in his first 72 games of a season, according to ESPN Stats.
Richards to start Tuesday; Williams to bullpen
ANAHEIM -- It seemed like a simple choice -- Garrett Richards pitched well in his last start, and Jerome Williams didn't.
With Dan Haren returning to the rotation on Sunday, the Angels had a surplus of starting pitchers in the rotation, and manager Mike Scioscia made the decision to go with Richards as the fifth starter on Tuesday against the Royals, sending Williams to the bullpen. C.J. Wilson will start against Kansas City on Monday.
In his start against the Tigers last Tuesday, Richards pitched seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and four walks, en route to a 13-0 win. It was his first start with the big club since being sent down on July 5 following two starts in which he allowed a combined 17 runs (12 earned) in 8 2/3 innings.
In Williams' start against the Tigers two days later, he surrendered five runs on nine hits and a walk in six innings in a 5-1 loss. It was the fourth time in his last five starts that the right-hander had allowed five runs in an outing.
"I think both guys have things you look at," Scioscia said. "Garrett's not a finished product, but he has that electric arm.
"And with Jerome, there's definitely some things he needs to get back in touch with. The ball's up, it's been flat at times. He's pitched around the zone a little bit, then when he's tried to come after guys, he's been hitting the heart of the plate on bad counts."
Though the Angels have an off-day on Thursday to decide if they want to possibly rotate Richards and Williams in and out of the rotation, Scioscia said if Richards takes his opportunity and rolls with it, there should be no reason to make any changes.
Without the contributions of starters Jered Weaver and Wilson, the Angels starters' ERA jumps from 3.89 to 4.80. Clearly, Scioscia said, the team is going to need to get better pitching from the other three starters if it wants to be ahead of the division-leading Rangers come September.
"There's no way that two-fifths of the rotation is going to get you where you want to be," Scioscia said. "So I think that you have to look at Dan [Haren], you have to look at Ervin [Santana], and hopefully look at something Garrett's going to do in the fifth spot.
Scioscia believes Wells understands new role
ANAHEIM -- When it comes to the limited playing time that awaits him, Vernon Wells could clearly see the writing on the wall.
He saw it in the continuity the Angels' offense has with Mark Trumbo, Mike Trout and Torii Hunter in the outfield; in the numerous articles written about his shrinking role on the team; and perhaps even in the removal of his big banner in front of Angel Stadium, replaced by one of Trumbo.
Just in case, though, Angels manager Mike Scioscia had a chat with Wells before he left on his current Triple-A rehab assignment, which will last at least a week as he recovers from a torn ligament in his right thumb. He told him about the new role that awaits him -- starting mainly when Kendrys Morales sits against a left-hander, or to give Hunter a day off here and there -- and he believes Wells is on board.
Happy? Probably not.
Accepting? Maybe so.
"I think he wants to contribute, he wants to make us a better team," Scioscia said. "Right now, everyday at-bats aren't there for him. He understands that.
"We'll look at it when that situation happens. We're still a little bit away. A week in this game could be a lifetime."
Especially this time of year, with the non-waiver Trade Deadline only 10 days away. The Angels are in search of pitching -- for the rotation and the bullpen -- but one name who has been in the rumors lately is Morales, who's appealing to teams in search of offense and, if dealt, could free up more playing time for Wells and his massive contract.
Wells' return can also have an effect on young center fielder Peter Bourjos -- a potential trade chip who has found it difficult to get playing time even without Wells.
Pretty soon, the Angels will have five outfielders, and two of them will be accepting far lesser roles than they're accustomed to.
Something may have to give.
"Any time there's more depth, it's tough for an individual player fighting for at-bats, but it makes you stronger as a team," Scioscia said. "We're certainly going to do everything we can to keep everyone with some sort of timing and be able to contribute."
In order to create roster space for Dan Haren, who will be activated from the disabled list to start Sunday's finale against the Rangers, the Angels optioned outfielder Kole Calhoun back to Triple-A Salt Lake after Saturday's 9-2 loss.
Erick Aybar left Saturday's game in the seventh inning with a bruise on his right big toe. Aybar fouled a ball off of it in the top of the seventh, was checked on, finished his at-bat -- a strikeout -- and then was replaced by Maicer Izturis in the bottom half. "He's sore," manager Mike Scioscia said of Aybar. "He fouled it right off his toe. We'll evaluate him and see how he's feeling tomorrow."
Asked about the difference between Mike Trout and Peter Bourjos in center field, Scioscia said: "Peter might have a slight edge right now on the defensive end, but you're talking about what's the difference between a Mercedes Benz and a BMW. Those guys are both difference-makers."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. Joe McIntyre is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.