Despite the injuries that have decimated their pitching staff, the player the Angels miss most may be slugger Vladimir Guerrero. And Manager Mike Scioscia said Tuesday the timetable for Guerrero's return from a torn muscle in his chest remains nothing more than a guess at this point.
"Right now he's at risk even swinging the bat," Scioscia said. "This is a significant injury he has. It doesn't look like surgery was needed, but it should get to a point where the doctor is going to feel comfortable that he'll swing the bat before he's able to throw.
"And when that day comes, he'll be in our lineup."
Guerrero appeared in eight games as a designated hitter, batting .250 with a home run and three runs batted in. But even with that contribution, the Angels began the homestand ranked in the bottom three in the league in several offensive categories, including hitting (.250), runs (48) and home runs (8).
Guerrero, who said Tuesday he is already feeling better, was examined last week by team physician Lewis Yocum, who told the slugger that a month on the disabled list would give the injury a chance to heal.
"This is going to take a little bit of time," Scioscia said.
Holes to fill
Scioscia wouldn't say who would fill the vacant spots in the Angels' rotation Thursday and Saturday, but he said who wouldn't -- left-handed reliever Darren Oliver, who gave the team four strong innings in a start in Minnesota last week.
"We're certainly trying to patch some holes here and there," Scioscia said. "With Darren Oliver, taking him into the [rotation] created a bigger hole in the bullpen than what he's going to do for us as a starter."
Scioscia says the team will patch those holes short term with players already in the organization rather than through trade, which will necessitate a couple of roster moves in the coming days.
The first could happen as early as today. Matt Palmer was scratched from his scheduled Tuesday start at triple-A Salt Lake and could be in Anaheim this afternoon.
Long term, he said the team is looking forward to the return of right-handers John Lackey and Ervin Santana, who started the season on the disabled list.
Both pitchers threw a pair of simulated innings in the bullpen Tuesday.
Right-hander Kelvim Escobar has had his return from shoulder surgery over the summer slowed because of soreness.
Jepsen out, Wood up
The Angels added a fifth pitcher to their disabled list when they put reliever Kevin Jepsen on the shelf, retroactive to April 19, because of a strained lower back.
Infielder Brandon Wood was called up from Salt Lake to fill Jepsen's spot on the roster.
Jepsen pitched poorly in last week's six-game trip, giving up seven earned runs in two innings in appearances against Seattle and Minnesota.
He joins starters Santana, Escobar, Lackey and Dustin Moseley on the disabled list.
Adenhart shrine to stay
The memorial that sprung outside Angel Stadium shortly after pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed in a traffic accident during the team's season-opening homestand was still partly intact when the team returned from its first trip.
An Angels official said the memorial will remain outside the main entrance to the stadium "as long as people keep adding to it."