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Peter Bourjos hopes to return to Angels' lineup this weekend

The center fielder, who has a slight right hamstring strain, probably will test the leg Friday before the Angels begin a four-game series at Oakland.

July 15, 2011|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos catches a sinking line drive by Braves catcher Brian McCann for the third out in the first inning of an interleague game at Angel Stadium.
Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos catches a sinking line drive by Braves… (Gus Ruelas / Associated…)

Peter Bourjos, out since last Friday because of a slight right hamstring strain, took batting practice and shagged balls Thursday during a workout at Angel Stadium. The speedy center fielder is confident he will return to the lineup this weekend.

"It feels a lot better," Bourjos said. "I ran on a treadmill [Wednesday] at about 75%, and it felt good. I don't want to go on the disabled list. I feel like I can play this weekend at some point."

However, Bourjos did not run the bases or any sprints Thursday, and he probably won't test the leg until Friday in Oakland.

The Angels resume play with a four-game series against the Athletics, and the teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader Saturday.

Manager Mike Scioscia said the Angels can get through the weekend without Bourjos but could "look into making a move" if he doesn't show much progress by Friday.

Mike Trout, the 19-year-old who was called up from double-A Arkansas to replace Bourjos, will remain with the Angels until Bourjos can play every day.

The Angels haven't decided whether Trout, the organization's top prospect, will return to Arkansas or go to triple A when he is sent down.

"Our double-A team won the first half and is going to the playoffs, and it's an important for a player's growth to play in the playoffs," Scioscia said. "We'll weigh that against the slightly upgraded pitching he'd face in triple A."

Back-to-back starts

Dan Haren started the 92nd game of the season Sunday, giving up two runs and five hits in 82/3 innings of a 4-2 win over Seattle. The right-hander will also start the 93rd game, against the A's on Friday night.

Jered Weaver, who started for the American League in the All-Star game Tuesday, and Ervin Santana will start Saturday in the Angels' first scheduled doubleheader since 1978 — baseball's first scheduled doubleheader since Aug. 2, 2003, when the San Diego Padres played at Philadelphia.

Joel Pineiro will pitch Sunday, and after an off day Monday, Tyler Chatwood will return to the rotation Tuesday against Texas.

Chatwood pitched three innings in a triple-A game Thursday, giving up two runs on four hits with five walks and two strikeouts for Salt Lake.

Rodney's return

Reliever Fernando Rodney, out since June 9 because of an upper-back strain, completed a full bullpen workout Thursday and is expected to begin a rehabilitation assignment with Salt Lake on Saturday.

If the right-hander doesn't regain his form, the Angels will probably pursue a trade to bolster a bullpen that has relied heavily on Scott Downs and Jordan Walden.

"If he pitches the way he can, we're really good in the back of the bullpen," General Manager Tony Reagins said. "If he struggles, we have to make adjustments."

Pace setters

Trout has been clocked from home to first in 3.75 seconds, which is Ichiro Suzuki-in-his-prime speed. Bourjos is not quite that fast from home to first, but several Angels say he is faster than Trout going first to home.

The Angels are not about to set up a race to determine who is faster.

"We talked about it in the spring, but we don't want four blown hamstrings," Scioscia said. "Does it really matter who's faster?"

mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

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