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ANGELS FYI

Torii Hunter has minor setback in rehab plans

Strength test shows area around his injury isn't strong enough for him to begin playing again. He had been set to return to action with double-A team in his home state of Arkansas.

August 06, 2009|Mike DiGiovanna

CHICAGO — Torii Hunter's hopes of doing his minor league rehabilitation assignment in his home state of Arkansas this weekend are fading.

The center fielder, sidelined since July 8 because of a strained adductor muscle on his right side, ran the bases at about 90% and took batting and fielding practice Wednesday.

But Hunter said he "failed" a strength test after his workout and he will not be able to begin playing Friday, the day the Angels' double-A team in Little Rock, Ark., begins a four-game home series.

"It's not a setback," Hunter said. "I didn't pass. It doesn't hurt but they want me to be 100%."

Hunter, who grew up in Pine Bluff, about 45 minutes south of Little Rock, had hoped to play in front of family and friends who were unable to see him play in the All-Star game on July 14 in St. Louis.

Hunter, who hasn't played in his home state since he was a high school senior in 1993, will return to Anaheim with the Angels after today's series finale against the Chicago White Sox and will probably remain there over the weekend. He hopes to begin a rehab assignment early next week.

The Travelers are off Tuesday and go on the road Wednesday, so Hunter will probably rehab with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga or triple-A Salt Lake.

Little relief in sight

Having failed to acquire a reliever such as San Diego's Heath Bell or Baltimore's George Sherrill before Friday's trade deadline, the Angels, barring a trade this month, will rely on their own pitchers the rest of the way.

They are still holding out hope that Jose Arredondo, who had a 5.55 earned-run average when he was demoted to triple A on June 9, will bolster their bullpen.

The right-hander who was dominant in 2008, going 10-2 with a 1.62 ERA in 52 games, has a 2.41 ERA in 17 games at Salt Lake, with 21 strikeouts and 13 walks in 18 2/3 innings, and his fastball has been consistently clocked between 92 and 94 mph.

"We're getting some encouraging reports that his stuff is coming back and he's pitching better," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "I can't tell you how huge that would be if he can get into his game."

The Angels are not expecting any help from Kelvim Escobar and Dustin Moseley, who are probably out for the season because of injuries.

Special guests

Henry Gigeous, the 15-year-old stepbrother of Nick Adenhart, the Angels pitcher who was killed in an April 9 car crash, was in uniform and on the Angels' bench for Wednesday night's game.

Gigeous also took early batting practice, shagged balls with the Angels and hung around with players in the clubhouse before the game.

Adenhart's mother, Janet Gigeous, also attended the games in Chicago on Tuesday and Wednesday -- she and her family live in the Chicago area -- and met several players and coaches at the team hotel Tuesday and Wednesday.

The wives of several Angels players presented Janet with a leather-bound scrapbook of newspaper clips and pictures of Adenhart, who threw six shutout innings against Oakland hours before the car in which he was a passenger was broadsided by an alleged drunk driver in Fullerton.

"It's kind of cool that Henry was here," Hunter said. "He's a great kid, very mature for his age. And he's got some pop from the left side."

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mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

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