ARLINGTON, TEXAS — Manager Mike Scioscia plans to contact Bob Watson, baseball's vice president of discipline, rules and on-field operations, and Mike Port, vice president of umpiring, in an effort to get some clarification on rules regarding warnings and ejections.
Last week in Anaheim, before a series between the Angels and Red Sox, umpires put the teams on alert because of the Josh Beckett-sparked benches-clearing incident between the teams the previous time they met, on April 12.
When Boston right-hander Justin Masterson threw a pitch behind the back of Torii Hunter, both benches were warned, meaning another similar pitch would result in the ejection of the pitcher and that pitcher's manager.
But there was no such "heads up" from the umpires before this weekend's Angels-Rangers series and no warning when John Lackey threw his first pitch of the game behind the head of Rangers leadoff batter Ian Kinsler.
When Lackey hit Kinsler with his next pitch, he was ejected by home-plate umpire Bob Davidson.
"We have to get this criteria uniform, because I've seen it happen against us, and a lot of leeway is given, and we didn't get that today," Scioscia said. "As wrong as we know Bob was in his evaluation, it certainly wasn't John's intent to hit Kinsler.
"They gave us a heads up against Boston, the ball goes behind a guy's back, there's a warning. Today, no heads up was given; unfortunately, John's first two pitches, he's trying to go inside and he hits Kinsler. But the intent wasn't there."
Escobar picks up speed
Kelvim Escobar's rehabilitation from shoulder surgery, which took a significant detour in early April when he was shut down because of inflammation, appears to be back on track.
The right-hander threw 45 pitches in his last extended spring training game, and Scioscia said he will make one or two starts in Arizona before moving to a minor league affiliate.
But despite a need for relief help -- the Angels entered Saturday with a 6.50 bullpen earned-run average, worst in the major leagues -- and Escobar's extensive relief experience, the Angels want to fully explore bringing the 33-year-old back as a starter before considering him for the bullpen.
Escobar, who missed the entire 2008 season, was 18-7 with a 3.40 ERA in 30 starts for the Angels in 2007. He was Toronto's closer in 2002.
"We're going to adjust to whatever Kelvim is capable of doing," Scioscia said. "If he can throw 90 to 100 pitches at a level he was at [in 2007] and bounce back, this guy would be a dynamic force in your rotation. If he's having difficulty getting . . . to 75 to 80 pitches, then obviously we'll consider that and take it from there."
Ervin Santana said he felt no ill effects from his first start, in which the right-hander, who missed the first six weeks because of an elbow sprain, gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings Thursday against Boston. Santana, who threw 92 pitches, said that because he is coming off an injury, he isn't concerned about the velocity of his fastball, which hits 95 to 96 mph when he is in peak form but hovered around 91 mph and topped out at 93. . . . The Angels went back to two catchers -- Mike Napoli and Jeff Mathis -- when they optioned Bobby Wilson to triple-A Salt Lake after Friday's game to clear roster room for Lackey. But Scioscia said he would be no more reluctant to use Napoli as his designated hitter, even though the Angels run the risk of losing the DH if Mathis were to get hurt and Napoli had to catch.