NEW YORK — Both Angels Manager Mike Scioscia and General Manager Jerry Dipoto were “very encouraged” by Dan Haren’s full bullpen session Thursday at Angel Stadium, a workout the veteran right-hander, on the disabled list because of back stiffness, will repeat Saturday with Class-A Inland Empire.
Barring setback, Haren, who has been bothered all season by the injury, could make a minor league rehabilitation start Tuesday and join the Angels rotation for a July 22 game against the Texas Rangers in Anaheim.
Haren, 31, entered 2012 with a 107-84 career record and 3.59 earned-run average. But his 6-8 record and 4.86 ERA this season, along with the struggles of Ervin Santana, who is 4-9 with a 5.75 ERA, have put a major drag on a rotation many expected would be one of the best in baseball.
How Haren rebounds from his injury could go a long way toward determining whether the Angels pursue a starting pitcher — several prominent veterans, including Cole Hamels, Zack Greinke, Matt Garza and Wandy Rodriguez, could be available — before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.