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ANGELS FYI

Vladimir Guerrero to be DH for the rest of the season

Mike Scioscia says the veteran will not play the outfield after returning from the disabled list to minimize the possibility of injuries.

July 20, 2009|Bill Shaikin

OAKLAND — The Angels plan to restrict Vladimir Guerrero to designated hitter for the rest of the season, raising the possibility that Angels fans have seen him play in right field for the last time.

Guerrero has started two games in right field this season, most recently on July 7, when he suffered a strained muscle behind his left knee and a strained hamstring.

He has been on the disabled list since then. The Angels hope he can return in two to three weeks.

"He'll be DHing when he gets back," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "We'll keep him in that role. If he has another setback and gets pushed back another three or four weeks, you're looking at September."

Although he suffered his latest injury while playing the outfield, Scioscia acknowledged Guerrero also could get injured at bat or running the bases. However, the Angels hope to minimize the chance of another injury by removing him from the outfield.

Guerrero is eligible for free agency this fall. General Manager Tony Reagins said Friday the Angels do not plan to negotiate with any potential free agents before the season ends.

Guerrero, who has played in 46 of the Angels' 90 games, is on the disabled list now because of the leg injury and was on it previously because of a chest injury. In the seven games before his most recent injury, he batted .400 and drove in eight runs.

Scioscia said Guerrero would return to the heart of the order.

"He had started showing signs of swinging the bat the way he can," Scioscia said. "We're a better team when he does."

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Bullpen help

Reliever Jose Arredondo lowered his earned-run average at triple-A Salt Lake to 1.59 with scoreless outings Saturday and Sunday. He has struck out six of the last 13 batters he has faced.

Scioscia said Arredondo would "probably not" rejoin the club during the three-game series that starts today in Kansas City. The Angels might recall Arredondo when they return home and give him the chance to reclaim the eighth inning, but Scioscia said the Angels would continue trying to trade for a veteran reliever no matter what Arredondo might do upon his return.

"If we go out and get somebody outside the organization, all that does is add to the amount of depth," Scioscia said. "In the bullpen, the name of the game is definitely depth."

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O'Sullivan is back

The Angels recalled rookie right-hander Sean O'Sullivan to start today's game in Kansas City and optioned catcher Bobby Wilson to Salt Lake.

O'Sullivan will work with plenty of rest. He was 2-0 with a 3.80 ERA in four starts for the Angels, most recently July 4. They optioned him to Salt Lake so he could stay sharp after the All-Star break. He started at Salt Lake on July 9 but was ejected in the fourth inning -- he hit a batter who had hit a home run against him -- and he has not pitched since.

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Short hops

Outfielder Juan Rivera did not play Sunday because of a tight left hamstring, but he expects to return shortly and does not anticipate a trip to the disabled list . . . . John Lackey moved into fourth place on the Angels' all-time list for games started, with 219. He trails Chuck Finley (379), Nolan Ryan (288) and Mike Witt (272).

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bill.shaikin@latimes.com

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ANGELS TONIGHT

AT KANSAS CITY

When: 5 PDT.

Where: Kauffman Stadium.

On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 830, 1330.

Pitchers: Sean O'Sullivan vs. Sidney Ponson; Tuesday, 5 p.m. PDT -- Ervin Santana (2-5, 6.70) vs. Bruce Chen (0-4, 6.86); Wednesday, 5 p.m. PDT -- Joe Saunders (8-6, 4.72) vs. Brian Bannister (6-7, 3.66).

Update: The Royals were 23-23 on May 26 and had dreams of a pennant race, or at least of a winning season. They are 14-31 since, and they go into tonight's game with a six-game losing streak. Little wonder, considering the Kansas City starting pitchers in the first two games of this series. Sidney Ponson, who is on his sixth team in five seasons, starts tonight. Bruce Chen, who had not been used as a major league starter since 2006, starts Tuesday.

-- Bill Shaikin

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