6/26/2013 11:24 P.M. ET
Dipoto not labeling Halos as Deadline approachs
By Alden Gonzalez and Jason Beck / MLB.com
DETROIT -- For the sake of water-cooler chatter and sheer convenience, the overwhelming preference is to lump teams into one of two categories heading into the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline -- "buyer" or "seller."
Second-year general manager Jerry Dipoto doesn't believe either term applies to his team.
"We are not a buyer, we are not a seller," Dipoto said. "We're the Angels, who are sitting here trying to win a game today. Our sense of urgency has to be today, tomorrow and every day."
Still, this is a team that went into the season with World Series expectations and is out of the playoff picture as the first half winds down. Heading into Wednesday's game against the Tigers, the Halos were nine games below .500, 10 games out of first place in the American League West and 8 1/2 back of the second AL Wild Card spot, with seven teams to jump.
Exactly five weeks remain until the Deadline, and how the Angels play up until then will determine whether they look to add to the roster (like pitching and bench help) or address a barren farm system (most likely by dangling pending free agents like Jason Vargas and Scott Downs).
But don't expect a major shakeup.
"I don't see drastic paths," Dipoto said. "We have a roster of veteran players, most of whom are under club control, a very talented offensive club, we've got a pitching staff that's evolving, some pending free agents, many others under club control. And we'll assess as we go."
Even if the Angels wanted to be sellers -- and they still believe they have the framework in place to continue fielding championship-contending teams, regardless of how the first 12 weeks have played out -- they likely can't be, with Albert Pujols (owed $212 over the following eight years) and Josh Hamilton ($106 million over the following four) on the payroll.
Asked if he'll reassess handing out large contracts in future offseasons, Dipoto said: "There's risk involved in every deal you do. The additions that we've made, we're glad we've made."
"We've had a disappointing first half, no doubt about it," he said. "Everybody here is frustrated by the performance to date. Our challenge is now to move forward, and like I said, we have an awful lot of talent in that clubhouse. I'm not going to sit here and assess future offseasons. You don't know what opportunities are going to be in front of you. At the time, you measure the risk and make the right decisions. There are no black-and-white answers in this game, or in life."
Hanson a late scratch with forearm tightness
DETROIT -- About 10 minutes before game time at Comerica Park on Wednesday, Angels starter Tommy Hanson was scratched because of tightness he felt in his right forearm while throwing a pitch in the bullpen.
Hanson will be re-evaluated on Thursday morning, and the likelihood is that he will land on the disabled list, with Angels manager Mike Scioscia confirming after a 7-4 win that the team will call up another arm for Thursday's game.
Michael Roth, Nick Maronde, David Carpenter and Ryan Brasier can be called up from the 40-man roster, which is currently full. The Angels have the benefit of an off-day on Monday, which means they can push Hanson's spot in the rotation back to July 6. And since Hanson's last outing came last Thursday, his DL stint can be backdated far enough for him to pitch in that game.
"I think there's a chance," Scioscia said of Hanson going on the DL, "just because of being able to backdate it and see where he is."
The Angels are already without Jason Vargas, who's out until late July after undergoing surgery on Wednesday to take care of a blood clot in his left armpit area. Hanson, limited to nine starts after missing nearly four weeks on the bereavement list, warmed up in the bullpen before feeling tightness in his forearm and shutting it down.
Billy Buckner, who recorded the final two outs in Tuesday's 14-8 win, filled in for Hanson and went three-plus innings. Five relievers -- Dane De La Rosa, Scott Downs, Michael Kohn, Kevin Jepsen and Ernesto Frieri -- held the Tigers to one unearned run the rest of the way.
Hanson had already left by the time the visiting clubhouse was open to the media late Wednesday night.
"It happened pretty quickly," Scioscia said. "It happened on one pitch. He felt a little tightness and just had to shut it down."
Weaver pushing to regain flexible delivery
DETROIT -- Jered Weaver's issues since coming back from the disabled list stem mostly from lack of flexibility, according to Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher.
"His body right now is not able to get in a position to where he can repeat his deceptive delivery the way he's normally doing it, and that takes time," Butcher said. "He's lost a little bit of flexibility, and he needs to get it back for him to be where he needs to be with his delivery."
Weaver, who missed more than seven weeks from early April to late May with a broken left elbow, is 1-4 with a 4.65 ERA in his first seven starts and his average fastball velocity has gone down again -- from 90.1 in 2010, to 89.2 in '11, to 88.0 in '12, to 86.6 in '13.
Butcher points out that Weaver won 20 games last year while pitching at around the velocity he's been at this season and said his right shoulder, which bothered him down the stretch in 2012, is completely healthy. What the Angels are working on with their ace is getting back his patented flexibility and extension, because few starting pitchers rely on it more than a 6-foot-7 Weaver who throws way across his body.
"He's blocking himself out where he doesn't get his true extension," said Butcher, who believes the time off contributed to that and added that the velocity can go up a couple ticks once Weaver regains that flexibility.
"His arm feels good," Butcher added. "So I look at the encouraging things and I look at the other things, and I'm like, 'Well, you're not able to get to these positions. Why?' We need to address those issues, and it's been addressed. We've been working on them, and really it's just a matter of how fast his body can respond."
Miggy, C.J. put slugger's stare behind them
DETROIT -- The stare Miguel Cabrera had for C.J. Wilson on his way back to the dugout following a fifth-inning strikeout Tuesday night appeared to be forgotten by Wednesday afternoon.
Wilson said Tuesday after the Angels' 14-8 win that he had an emotional reaction after he spotted a called third strike on Cabrera with two men on and one out. Essentially, he said, "Woo!"
"I was extremely excited that that pitch was called a strike … I'm out there just trying to win," Wilson said. "If a guy hits a homer and stands there, he's entitled to do that, because you made a bad pitch. I'm not saying he did that; I'm just saying if I strike a guy out, on a pitch that I really need in that situation like that -- I mean, he's the MVP last year, he's having a great year, he's hitting like .370 [.368]. Any time you can get him out, you're happy, especially in that situation."
Cabrera apparently heard the reaction, because he quickly turned and looked back at Wilson.
"I wasn't even worried about it," Wilson said. "I threw the pitch, I saw him looking around and I was like, 'All right, well, I have to try to get Prince Fielder out right now.'"
Fielder doubled in a run before Victor Martinez hit a two-run single.
Cabrera -- who homered off Wilson in the third inning on Tuesday -- suggested Wednesday it was no big deal.
"Nah," he said, shaking his head.
• Angels starter Jason Vargas underwent successful surgery to repair a blood clot in his left armpit area on Wednesday morning. He'll be shut down from throwing and taking blood thinners for two weeks, then will start building back arm strength in hopes of returning by mid to late July.
• Second baseman Howie Kendrick, posting a .321/.364/.466 slash line this season, got his first day off on Wednesday. Angels manager Mike Scioscia chose Wednesday night to get him off his feet, because the Angels play again on Thursday afternoon and Kendrick fouled a ball off his foot the previous game.
• Peter Bourjos was hopeful of returning to the lineup on Wednesday, but was given an extra day for the swelling on his left thumb to heal. Scioscia expects him to start in center field on Thursday.
• Omar Vizquel, who joined the Angels as a roving infield instructor, will manage at Double-A Arkansas over the next four days while the regular skipper, Tim Bogar, takes some time off. This is usually around the time Minor League managers take a little break. Vizquel's goal is to eventually manage in the big leagues.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.