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Shoulder soreness keeps pitcher Joel Pineiro out of Angels' rotation

Angels starting pitcher Joel Pineiro began the season on the disabled list and will stay there for some time after experiencing shoulder soreness in spring training and again on Thursday.

April 02, 2011|By Kevin Baxter
  • Angels starter Joel Pineiro experienced stiffness in his shoulder during a bullpen session Thursday in Kansas City, so his second minor league rehab start Sunday has been scrapped.
Angels starter Joel Pineiro experienced stiffness in his shoulder during… (Kyle Terada / US Presswire )

Reporting from Kansas City, Mo. — Joel Pineiro, who is still experiencing discomfort in his right shoulder, will not join the Angels' rotation next week as expected, and the team says it is uncertain when he'll be able to pitch again.

Joel Pineiro, who is still experiencing discomfort in his right shoulder, will not join the Angels' rotation next week as expected, and the team says it is uncertain when he will be able to pitch again.

"We want him in the rotation. He's important to us," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. "But right now we've got a little bit of time to make sure that he's sound when he takes the ball."

Angels can't hold lead, lose to Kansas City, 5-4

Pineiro started the season on the disabled list after coming out of his final spring training start March 20 with shoulder soreness. A week later, he threw 59 pitches without incident in a minor league game, only to have the shoulder stiffen again during a bullpen session Thursday in Kansas City.

As a result, his second minor league rehab start Sunday has been scrapped. Pineiro will long toss off flat ground Tuesday — when the Angels play at Tampa Bay — before the team decides on a new timetable.

"We don't think it's going to be a huge setback," Scioscia said. "We do have some wiggle room to where we can move some things around."

With two off days in the season's first eight days, the Angels won't need a fifth starter until April 12. In Pineiro's absence, that assignment probably will go to Matt Palmer or Trevor Bell.

"I tried to talk them out of it," Pineiro said. "I said, 'Let me just try it and see what happens.' They said no."

Hunter reaches out to fan

Torii Hunter said he intended to phone the Missouri woman who was hospitalized after being struck by Hunter's broken bat in the fifth inning of Thursday's season opener.

"I feel I just need to talk to her. That's just human," Hunter said. "I was worried from the time it happened."

The woman, identified as 64-year-old Sue Cooney, was three rows behind the Angels dugout about 100 feet from the plate when Hunter's maple bat shattered, sending the barrel flying into the stands. Cooney, struck near her right eye, sustained facial fractures and will need surgery, family members said.

"I wish her the best," said Hunter, who passed a signed bat up to Cooney's family an inning after the accident.

The incident probably will lead baseball to review its guidelines regarding maple bats, which have been linked to several accidents in recent years. Though traditional ash bats crack and splinter when they break, maple bats snap in half, often sending the heavy barrel spinning into the infield or the stands.

"I hate that," Hunter said. "It happens so many times. But I just hate that it happened with one of my bats."

Downs is up

Reliever Scott Downs, who began the season on the disabled list because of a broken toe, is expected to pitch a simulated game Tuesday and could be sent for a minor league rehab appearance soon.

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

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