5/18/2014 9:01 P.M. ET
Green's hot hitting may only warm seat for regulars
By Earl Bloom / Special to MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- The Angels' Grant Green has picked on the Rays for both his Major League home runs, but he said before Sunday's 6-2 win that it did not matter against whom he produced -- or which hand they throw with -- as long as Green continued his output.
With starting outfielder Kole Calhoun already well into his Minor League rehab, starting third baseman David Freese having started his Saturday and starting outfielder Josh Hamilton headed out for his rehab at the end of this week, the Angels will soon face a serious numbers crunch on the 25-man roster.
Green, who has been mostly a platoon left fielder against left-handed pitching since his May 2 callup from Triple-A Salt Lake, is batting .368 (.474 vs. LHP and .263 vs. RHP) after going 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored on Sunday.
So Saturday night's homer off Rays right-hander Brandon Gomes may be a big deal. Green also had a pinch-hit appearance Friday against another righty, Rays closer Grant Balfour, but he did not reach base.
"Hitting a home run is always huge," said Green, who connected off Rays right-hander Josh Lueke as a pinch-hitter on Sept. 2 for the first of his career. "Against right or left, I don't think it makes a difference.
"I haven't had many extra-base hits since I've been here," added Green, who has two doubles this season to go with the homer. "I hope it leads to more."
Green already knows the hard way that even if he continues to produce, he might get squeezed off the roster when those three Angels starters return. He has versatility going for him, with eight starts in left and one at second base, also finishing a game at third base. He was drafted as a shortstop and first reached Triple-A as one, so that's in the bag, too.
But he was versatile and productive in the spring, batting .333 in 23 games with a homer and 11 RBIs, before he was optioned to Salt Lake in the final roster cut. Green hit .349 with two homers and 28 RBIs in 26 games for the Bees before his recall.
"Hopefully, I can keep it going when I get the chance," he said. "That's all I can do. I can't worry about the other stuff, because I can't control it."
Stewart works in cage with lingering soreness
ANAHEIM -- Angels third baseman Ian Stewart, out since last Sunday when he was struck on the left hand while swinging at an inside pitch from Aaron Loup in the seventh inning at Toronto, said he was making progress.
"I'm feeling a lot better, for sure," Stewart said of the injury, diagnosed as a contusion, which landed him on the DL. "I've been swinging a little bit in the cage, some soft-toss. The next step will be [hitting] out on the field."
He added that the hand was "still a bit tender in the cage, right on contact."
Stewart had ended a hitless streak at 0-for-24 with a triple off the wall in his previous at-bat.
"I was actually starting to feel good," he said. "The at-bat before, I was able to drive the ball, get a good swing on it."
• Pitching coach Mike Butcher said right-hander Dane De La Rosa (right AC joint) threw a 30-pitch bullpen on Sunday morning, "All fastballs. He looked good."
De La Rosa shut down his rehab assignment at Triple-A Salt Lake and returned to Anaheim on Wednesday, when he received a cortisone injection.
Earl Bloom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.