4/2/2014 2:59 A.M. ET
Baylor has surgery on femur as Hansen takes over
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- When Angels coaches passed the phone around late Monday night, shortly after a 10-3 Opening Day loss to the Mariners, Don Baylor's first reaction from UCI Medical Center was, "How'd our hitters do?"
When Angels vice president of communications Tim Mead checked in on Tuesday morning, hours before he would undergo surgery for a fractured right femur, Baylor had just one question: "What do you think is the best way to get me in the clubhouse on crutches?"
"That's the kind of guy we're dealing with, man," said Angels assistant hitting coach Dave Hansen, who played for the Mariners when Baylor was the hitting coach there in 2005 and will now take over for him in the interim.
Hansen, the former hitting coach in Seattle who was hired along with Baylor this offseason, will simply continue to implement Baylor's program. That program, Hansen said, involves "consistency, each at-bat at a time, focus, that kind of stuff. Very simple, actually. It's more of a competitive edge, and I do like that. Really that's it and taking it day by day. Believing in each other. He's very big on that -- accountability to each other."
Baylor underwent successful surgery at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday. The procedure, which lasted more than five hours, involved fixing the fracture with a metal plate and screws and will require Baylor to be at UCI Medical Center for at least two more days.
A fractured femur -- located in the thigh, and typically the longest and strongest bone in the body -- requires a minimum recovery time of 12 weeks, and may be longer for somebody who's 64 years old and was previously afflicted by multiple myeloma, a cancer that attacks plasma cells in the bone marrow.
But Baylor is cut from a different cloth.
"Don's one tough guy," Angels manager Mike Scioscia added. "He's not giving in to anything. He wants to get back and help us. He'll get this done and we'll see exactly where he is, what he can do."
Baylor crouched down for Vladimir Guerrero's ceremonial first pitch on Monday night, his left knee on the dirt. The throw came in a little low, a little outside and a little fast, and Baylor's weight shifted to the right side and caused his right leg to practically buckle underneath him. He remained stoic, slowly trying to get up, but his right leg gave out, prompting the Angels' training staff to rush out to the field and help him off it. Three innings later, he was taken to the hospital.
"That shock is still there," Hansen said. "And after knowing the man, too, it's like, 'Why did that have to happen?' Seriously. I just can't get that out of my head."
Minor League hitting coordinator Paul Sorrento, who spent most of Spring Training with the Angels, has been summoned by the organization to help out on the Major League coaching staff. Rick Eckstein, a hitting coach with the Nationals the previous five years, will continue in his role as player information coach. Hansen will run the meetings, but said his workload shouldn't change too much.
The greatest void will be Baylor's presence.
"He brings a natural presence," Hansen said. "He just has that about him. Plus he's done so much on the field that demands that, too. MVP, so many years in the game, done so many things. That's a pretty big presence. I can't explain what the void will be. I'm just hoping he'll be around enough to keep his presence felt."
Angels have second Trout bobblehead giveaway
ANAHEIM -- You can't find this on Baseball-Reference's Play Index, but it's safe to say there haven't been many 22-year-olds with two bobblehead giveaways.
Mike Trout's second was distributed on Tuesday, to all fans who showed up for the second game of the 2014 season against the Mariners.
"Most of my bobbleheads in the past haven't really looked like me," Trout said. "But I guess it kind of does, sort of. I have a big head. I don't know if that's my hair. But I like it. I'm not complaining. I'm just happy I have a bobblehead."
The bobblehead is the first of three Trout-related giveaways this season, in addition to a camo shirt (on May 15) and a replica gnome (July 18).
The first Trout bobblehead, distributed April 13 of last year, paid tribute to the center fielder's miraculous catch of a potential J.J. Hardy home run in Baltimore on June 27, 2012. The new one depicts Trout hatless and holding up his right index finger, with a silver base that represents his Silver Slugger Award and figurines to depict how he got each of the four legs of the cycle last year.
"I think it's actually pretty accurate, surprisingly," teammate and good friend Garrett Richards said. "Most bobbleheads you see, there's one or two things you see where you're like, 'Nah, that doesn't look like him.' But that's pretty accurate, with the wrist tape and the cleats, the color of the hair. I think it's pretty spot on. I think that's more accurate than usual."
Hamilton finds timing quickly after late start
ANAHEIM -- Josh Hamilton, sidelined early in Spring Training camp by a strained left calf, didn't appear in his first official game until March 17, with less than two weeks of Spring Training remaining.
But it didn't take him all that long to find his timing.
The Angels' left fielder batted .333/.378/.606 in 11 Cactus League games. And through the first two games of the 2014 season, Hamilton is 3-for-6 with a double and two walks. Last year, he recorded one hit in his first 21 at-bats.
"I think he's ready," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said prior to Tuesday's game. "Josh did a lot more work than just the at-bats you saw in games. He got  at-bats in spring, plus what he did really for 10 straight days, down hitting live pitching in Field 2 off the Minor League pitchers. I think the combination of the two created a real comfort level for him. There's no doubt he's comfortable in the box and he's ready to go."
• Relievers Dane De La Rosa (right forearm strain) and Sean Burnett (recovery from August elbow surgery) are both slated to throw a simulated game at Angel Stadium prior to Wednesday's contest. De La Rosa will then venture out on a rehab assignment, with the goal of returning for the April 11 game against the Mets. Burnett still needs to complete more steps before appearing in games.
• Frazee Paint has put a 10-foot-tall paint can in the lawn in left-center field, just below the flags. If an Angels player hits a home run that lands inside the can on the fly, Frazee Paint will donate $1 million to the Angels Baseball Foundation. The can is 10 feet in the back and nine feet in the front, creating a more convenient angle for the hitter. It's 450 feet away from home plate.
• Jered Weaver was not sick while starting against the Mariners on Monday. The Angels' ace said he "went to the bathroom and threw up" when asked what he thought watching the top of the ninth. But Weaver meant it figuratively, with regards to feeling disgusted that the Mariners scored six runs and put the game away, not in the literal sense of feeling under the weather.
• With a punchout of Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager in the second inning, C.J. Wilson recorded his 1,000th career strikeout. Wilson, beginning his fifth season as a starting pitcher, is the 40th active player to surpass that mark. The active leader is Yankees ace CC Sabathia, with 2,389.
• Monday's game against the Mariners delivered a 2.91 HH rating on FOX Sports West, making it the most-watched Opening Day game in the Angels' 23-year history with the station.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.