7/21/2013 3:44 P.M. ET
Callaspo quietly turning things around at the plate
By William Boor / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- In an Angels lineup that features Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle.
Although Alberto Callaspo's offense does not garner the same attention as his teammates, the third baseman has been very productive.
"He's quietly doing what we expected," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's started swinging better from the right side. Left-handed he's been hitting the ball to all fields."
Callaspo had a rough stretch from May 15 to June 15, hitting just .207 as his average dropped 51 points.
However, a couple of hitting streaks have jump-started the switch-hitter, who is bringing his average up seemingly every day.
"He's been hitting the ball hard," Scioscia said.
Since June 15, Callaspo has played in 28 games, had hit streaks of nine and 12 games and is hitting .327.
After a 1-for-3 Saturday night -- including his fifth home run of the season -- Callaspo's average, which had dipped to .233, is up to .269.
Hanson to start vs. Twins on Tuesday
ANAHEIM -- With Jason Vargas and Tommy Hanson on the disabled list, the Angels have been relying on four starters -- something off-days and the All-Star break have allowed them to do.
However, that will come to an end on Tuesday when Hanson is slated to start against the Twins.
"Tommy came out of his bullpen feeling good, and we're going to pencil him in for Tuesday," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Hanson, 4-2 with a 5.10 ERA on the season, was scratched prior to a June 26 start against the Tigers and placed on the DL with a right forearm strain.
The right-hander threw 59 pitches in 3 1/3 innings during a rehab assignment with Class A Inland Empire on Thursday and will likely be confined to a limited pitch count Tuesday.
"We'll evaluate that, but he should have enough to pitch deep enough into the game," Scioscia said.
While Tuesday's start is big for Hanson, who has made just nine starts this season because of time on both the DL and bereavement list, it is also a good sign for an Angels rotation that needs to step up in the second half.
"I think it's an important first step," Scioscia said. "When you see Weave [Jered Weaver] and C.J. [Wilson], hopefully Jerome [Williams] getting back on track, we've got some guys that can help us do what we need to do in the second half, but it's going to take five."
Once Hanson is activated Tuesday, the Angels will have four-fifths of their original rotation back in the mix. Vargas, who had a blood clot in his left armpit, is expected back in either late July or early August.
"I think the biggest thing is getting depth back in our rotation," Scioscia said. "You can talk about needing a sixth and seventh, but at this point in the season, we need one through five. We need those guys to get it going for the second half and we're not quite there yet."
• The Angels' pitching staff has struck out at least 10 batters without allowing an earned run in three straight home games. The Angels are the first American League team to do so since 1916.
• Garrett Richards has spent time in both the Angels bullpen and rotation this season, and Angels manager Mike Scioscia believes Richards could potentially fill either role as his career progresses.
"You see a guy that could be a good Major League starter and you see some things that could make him a good Major League closer, so we'll see how things progress with Garrett," Scioscia said.
• Prior to the Chevrolet Home Run Derby, Scioscia said he was not a fan of the event because of its grueling nature.
As the Angels opened the second half against an Athletics lineup that was without Derby champion Yoenis Cespedes -- who missed all three starts with a sore left wrist -- Scioscia reiterated his beliefs.
"It's a lot of high energy swings for anybody to take," Scioscia said. "Some guys come out of it fine, some guys come out of it maybe not quite where they want to be. It's just a personal decision I think some players have to make."
William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.