5/19/2013 8:35 P.M. ET
Angels seeing collective efforts in leadership roles
By William Boor / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- When Torii Hunter signed a free-agent contract with the Detroit Tigers last offseason, the Angels clubhouse lost its undisputed leader.
Hunter -- currently in his 17th Major League season -- was hitting .313 with 21 RBIs in 38 games for the Tigers this season, while the Angels have struggled to find an identity.
Although the individual leadership Hunter provided may be gone, Angels manager Mike Scioscia believes his team has found leadership in a different way for the 2013 season -- using a collective effort of both young players and veterans.
"There's some veteran players, both on the offensive end and the pitching end that definitely have mentoring skills and guys gravitate to [them]," Scioscia said. "Some of our younger players, I think the way they're carrying themselves on the field -- a guy like Mike [Trout] in the clubhouse, Mark Trumbo, Erick Aybar. These guys are becoming a presence in the clubhouse."
While young players establish themselves as future leaders, the Angels also have relied on the veterans.
"Obviously you have Albert [Pujols], Josh [Hamilton] and Jered Weaver, guys that have been around and understand. It all comes into play."
Coello using forkball to make strong impression
ANAHEIM -- If not for his roots as a catcher, Angels reliever Robert Coello may have never discovered the forkball that is now his out pitch.
"People joke around when they are playing catch, throwing a knuckleball," Coello said. "I couldn't throw a knuckleball, so that's the only way I could get back at the guy playing catch with me. I just figured it out, played with it and when they converted me, I kept it."
Coello calls the pitch a forkball, while Angels manager Mike Scioscia says it's more of a blend with a knuckleball. Regardless of what the pitch is called, the Angels are happy Coello found it.
The right-hander has pitched seven scoreless innings for the Angels in 2013, striking out 12 of the 23 batters he's faced and recording his first Major League win on Saturday.
"It felt great," Coello said. "I didn't even notice [that I got the win] because I just came into the situation with the bases loaded, got my two outs and got the team back to hit."
Coello struck out the White Sox's Alexei Ramirez and Alex Rios to end a scoring threat and keep the Angels in the game.
Coello has very limited experience -- he entered 2013 having pitched just 12 Major League innings over two seasons with Boston and Toronto. However, he is pitching well with the Angels and believes the new team may be just what he needed all along.
"My stuff's coming together," Coello said. "I've had good stuff before, just now, maybe it's different scenery, a different environment. It's a good team, feels good to be here."
In 2010, Coello pitched 5 2/3 innings for the Red Sox, allowing three earned runs. In 2012 with the Blue Jays, he allowed nine runs in 6 1/3 innings.
Nelson joins Angels, Jimenez returns to Triple-A
ANAHEIM -- A day after infielder Chris Nelson was claimed off of waivers from the Yankees, he was added to the 25-man roster and found himself in his third Major League clubhouse in a span of 22 days.
To make room for Nelson, the Angels optioned Luis Jimenez to Triple-A Salt Lake.
"Lucho had versatility, but Lucho has to go down and play every day," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's a young player, still has growth. He played terrific for us up here, at some point we'll see him again, but he needs to go down there and play."
While Jimenez made a strong impression on the Angels' manager, Nelson is now hoping to do the same.
"I'm finally here and hopefully I can be here for a while," Nelson said. "I'm just excited to be here and I'm ready to showcase my talent."
Although officially listed as an infielder, Nelson is a versatile player who can play second base, third base, shortstop and the outfield.
Nelson is batting .235 in 31 games this season but hit .301 in 111 games in 2012 for Colorado, where he started this season before a May 1 trade sent him to the Bronx.
With Alberto Callaspo, Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick as staples in the Angels infield, Scioscia has not yet decided how Nelson will be used, but likes the versatility that the 27-year-old brings.
"Chris is a really athletic player that can give us infield coverage," Scioscia said. "From the right side, he's got some pop in his bat. We'll see where we can fit him in and hopefully he can contribute."
Burnett close to returning from rehab assignment
ANAHEIM -- Sean Burnett pitched in a rehab assignment for Class A Inland Empire on Saturday night and may rejoin the Angels bullpen as soon as Tuesday.
"Felt good," Burnett said of his one-inning appearance. "As long as I go out there today and feel good, hopefully I'll be ready to go Tuesday."
Burnett, who has been on the disabled list since April 28 with left forearm irritation, recorded two strikeouts and allowed one hit -- a home run to right field that would have been a flyout in most Major League ballparks.
Although Burnett hopes to be activated for Tuesday's two-game series opener against the Mariners, the left-hander acknowledged the decision will be up to management and the front office.
However, Angels manager Mike Scioscia also believes Tuesday is a possibility, assuming Burnett feels fine on Sunday and gets some work in to touch up his mechanics.
"I don't think there's any pain or anything, but you have to work back into your delivery and make pitches," Scioscia said. "His delivery is a little bit complicated. He's across his body so he's got some work to do there, but if he comes out of it well, feels good, can get a little work in, a little touch and feel, then there's definitely a possibility he can be activated Tuesday."
• Kevin Jepsen pitched one inning with Class A Inland Empire as part of a rehab assignment on Sunday. The right-hander, recovering from a right shoulder strain, threw nine pitches, seven strikes, and got three ground balls in his outing.
• Right-hander Ryan Madson will pitch for Triple-A Salt Lake "early this week" according to Angels manager Mike Scioscia.
• Right-hander Barry Enright cleared waivers and will join Triple-A Salt Lake.
• Infielder Bill Hall was released from the Salt Lake roster Sunday.
• Kole Calhoun has been activated off of Salt Lake's disabled list and was in the Bees' lineup Sunday.
William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.