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Hunter, Guerrero take needed rest

September 01, 2008|Kevin Baxter | Times Staff Writer

The Angels rested outfielders Torii Hunter and Vladimir Guerrero on Sunday, but that decision had more to do with the players' health than the team's comfortable division lead, said Manager Mike Scioscia.

"If the guys need a day off, they're going to get it. Regardless of what some standings might say," said Scioscia, whose team takes a 17-game lead into the season's final month.

Hunter, who banged his head against the center-field wall making spectacular catches Friday and Saturday, said he didn't ask for the day off but admitted it was welcome, especially since it comes paired with today's scheduled off day.

"It's a day of healing," Hunter said. "Normally I don't do that. But I need it."

As for whether Hunter will be ready when the Angels play again Tuesday in Detroit, Scioscia said that would be determined Tuesday.

"We anticipate that he's going to be ready. But we want to make sure he's where he needs to be before he's get back out there," Scioscia said.

Guerrero took consecutive days off early last week and responded with two-hit games his first two nights back.


Cavalry takes a detour

David Eckstein won't be riding to the Angels' rescue. At least not this season.

Although a deal to bring the former World Series hero back to Anaheim from Toronto was close to completion Friday, by early Sunday, Blue Jays General Manager J.P. Ricciardi was telling reporters that he would "probably not" be able to work anything out with the Angels.

Hours later, Eckstein was dealt to the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league pitcher Chad Beck.

Angels General Manager Tony Reagins was still working on a number of things late Sunday but wasn't optimistic any of them would come to fruition.

If he couldn't consummate a deal by 9 p.m. PDT, the deadline for setting playoff rosters, Reagins said he would go forward with what he has.

"If we can't add a player to our playoff roster, then we'll suck it up," he said.


Walking wounded

The Angels stepped up their pursuit of Eckstein after losing middle infielders Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar to hamstring strains last week. Scioscia said both players, originally considered doubtful to make the upcoming six-game trip, will accompany the team to Detroit and Chicago, partly at the request of trainer Ned Bergert.

"Ned wants to monitor this very closely to see where it is and wants these guys in house," Scioscia said. "It's not because they're close to baseball activities, no."


Morales recalled

The Angels made a number of roster moves after Sunday's game, recalling switch-hitting first baseman-outfielder Kendry Morales from triple-A Salt Lake City, putting pitcher Shane Loux on the disabled list and releasing right-hander Alex Serrano.

Loux went in for emergency oral surgery Sunday, while the release of Serrano creates an opening on the 40-man roster should the Angels make a trade. As for Morales, who was hitting .341 with a .543 slugging percentage at Salt Lake City, his recall before Sunday's 9 p.m. deadline makes him eligible for the postseason roster.


Wood could

When Brandon Wood was recalled from the minors Thursday to begin his sixth stint with the Angels this season, he had eight hits in 64 at-bats. He nearly matched that in his last two games, going three for four Sunday to give his five hits in his last seven tries.

"He really started to show the patience that I think is going take him to the next level as a hitter," Scioscia said. "His swing is shorter so I don't think he's missing balls as much. . . .

"Hopefully he'll carry it over because he's got an incredible upside at the plate."


Ejector button

Umpire Bill Hohn had a short fuse behind the plate Sunday, ejecting both managers and Texas catcher Gerald Laird for arguing separate ball-strike calls. Both managers were tossed without even leaving their dugouts. It was Laird's first ejection this season.


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