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ANGEL REPORT

Wooten Sidelined by Another Injury

June 03, 2002|Bill Shaikin

MINNEAPOLIS — Shawn Wooten could be sidelined until the All-Star break because of his latest injury but, even as the Angels emerge as a legitimate playoff contender, General Manager Bill Stoneman said Sunday it is unlikely he will trade for another hitter.

Wooten has a strained right ribcage muscle, Manager Mike Scioscia said Sunday. He has not played for the Angels this season after tearing a thumb ligament during spring training; he suffered the new injury on a rehabilitation assignment. He was expected to rejoin the team in about a week.

Over the winter, the Angels had planned for Wooten to split time with Scott Spiezio at first base. As the Angels stumbled to the worst start in franchise history, they searched for a right-handed hitter, but did not acquire one, and their interest cooled as the team heated up and Wooten's anticipated return neared.

The Angels have since added a right-handed bat, with Benji Gil activated from the disabled list, and the team has a better record against left-handed starters (10-4) than right-handed starters (21-18). But, in addition to playing first base, the Angels wanted Wooten to back up at catcher and designated hitter and provide power off the bench.

"I wouldn't say his role is filled," Scioscia said.

Playoff chances do not come every year, so there would appear to be some urgency for Stoneman not to squander this one. But the Angels are not likely to increase their player payroll at this time, particularly to fill what Stoneman sees as a part-time job.

"If somebody out there is good and we can get him and he's affordable, well, we're always looking," he said. "But thinking that we'll do something right now is probably not very realistic."

*

In hindsight, the Angels' decision not to put David Eckstein on the disabled list appears to have backfired. Eckstein is expected to return to shortstop tonight, his first defensive appearance since spraining his left knee 14 days ago.

Had the Angels put him on the 15-day disabled list, they could have kept reliever Mark Lukasiewicz on the roster for the seven games against a Minnesota roster overloaded with left-handed hitters. The Angels went 3-4 against the Twins. Dennis Cook, the Angels' remaining left-handed reliever, pitched in five of those games.

While his knee prevented him from playing defense, Eckstein appeared in two games as the designated hitter. The Angels won those games, 12-2 and 11-3.

"Whatever at-bats he gave us in the leadoff spot were worth the price we had to pay to keep him active," Scioscia said.

*

Outfielder Garret Anderson, the only Angel to play in every game this season, is uncertain for tonight's game. As he stole second base in the ninth inning Sunday, Minnesota shortstop Cristian Guzman caught the throw and inadvertently stepped on the middle finger of Anderson's right hand, opening a gash.

ON DECK

Opponent--Texas Rangers, four games.

Site--Edison Field.

Tonight--7 p.m.

TV--Fox Sports Net tonight, Wednesday and Thursday, Channel 9 Tuesday.

Radio--KLAC (570), XPRS (1090).

Records--Angels 31-22, Rangers 23-31.

Record vs. Rangers--3-1.

TONIGHT

ANGELS'

RAMON ORTIZ

(5-5, 3.47 ERA)

vs.

RANGERS'

ROB BELL

(2-1, 6.86 ERA)

Update--The Angels' Troy Glaus is tied for the American League lead in runs scored; the Rangers' Alex Rodriguez leads in home runs and runs batted in.

Tuesday, 7 p.m.-- Scott Schoeneweis (3-4, 5.43) vs. Dave Burba (3-2, 5.34).

Wednesday, 7 p.m.--Jarrod Washburn (5-2, 3.29) vs. Ismael Valdes (3-5, 3.86).

Thursday, 7 p.m.--Kevin Appier (5-3, 3.22) vs. Kenny Rogers (6-3, 2.87).

Tickets--(714) 663-9000.

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