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End of the line for Carrasco

ANGELS REPORT

July 04, 2007|Ben Bolch | Times Staff Writer

ARLINGTON, TEXAS — The fringes of the Angels' roster were somewhat depleted Tuesday when the team designated reliever Hector Carrasco for assignment and announced that utility man Erick Aybar would undergo surgery on his right hand.

Aybar injured his hand while diving on the warning track Sunday at Camden Yards in Baltimore during a rare appearance in the outfield. He will have surgery to remove the hook of the hamate bone Thursday in Los Angeles and is expected to be out six to eight weeks.

The Angels have 10 days to trade or release Carrasco, the veteran right-hander who never recaptured the form that made him an effective seventh-inning option last season.

"His velocity and command were very fuzzy," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "The ability to repeat pitches and get his off-speed pitches where they needed to be was inconsistent, and in the end Hector really couldn't find where he was in the second half of last year when he pitched very well."

The Angels recalled Chris Resop from triple-A Salt Lake, where he was 1-3 with a 4.57 earned-run average in 27 games. Scioscia said the right-handed reliever, who possesses an overpowering fastball, had displayed impressive command in the last month.

"That's what we did not see in spring training and we didn't see the first month of the season in triple-A," Scioscia said.

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The Angels received an encouraging report on injured catcher Mike Napoli, whose ankle sprain wasn't deemed as serious as first believed.

"It doesn't look like it was as high of an ankle sprain as they thought, which is good news," Scioscia said.

Napoli, injured in a home-plate collision Sunday and placed on the disabled list the following day, will have his foot immobilized in a boot for a week and then be re-evaluated. Though there is no timetable for his return, it could come faster than the six-week layoff typically associated with a high ankle sprain.

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Kelvim Escobar rejoined the Angels on Tuesday after briefly returning to his native Venezuela to obtain passports and visas for his children so he could bring them to the United States. He brought his oldest son with him to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

The pitcher who was not selected to the All-Star team despite going 9-3 with a 3.32 ERA said friends from his home country vowed to support him in fan voting for the final spot on the American League roster, which will be announced Thursday.

"Whatever it takes," Escobar said. "I still have a chance. I won't be disappointed [not to make it]. I'm very proud because I think I've done my best."

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Garret Anderson, in his first game back since suffering a torn right hip flexor tendon last month, was the designated hitter and batted seventh for the first time this season.... Reggie Willits returned from a three-day layoff because of a bruised right knee and batted leadoff.... Juan Rivera, recovering from a broken left leg, has resumed running aggressively in a straight line for 90 feet to simulate running the bases. He is also taking batting practice and could start a rehabilitation assignment in several weeks.

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ben.bolch@latimes.com

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