Game 94: Rangers-Angels …

Rangers (55-36)

Ian Kinsler, 2B
Elvis Andrus, SS
Josh Hamilton, LF
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Michael Young, 1B
Nelson Cruz, RF
David Murphy, DH
Mike Napoli, C
Craig Gentry, CF

Pitching: LH Derek Holland (6-4, 4.57 ERA)

Angels (50-43)

Mike Trout, LF
Torii Hunter, RF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Mark Trumbo, DH
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Erick Aybar, SS
Peter Bourjos, CF
Bobby Wilson, C

Pitching: RH Jered Weaver (11-1, 2.26 ERA)

Some pregame notes …

  • Dan Haren (stiff lower back) threw a bullpen session on Friday and, barring a major setback, he’s ready to go for Sunday.
  • Chris Iannetta (right forearm strain) had a good workout on Friday and manager Mike Scioscia said he’s “definitely” on track to start a rehab assignment tomorrow. As for how long he’ll need? “Especially catching, the first time you squat, and it’s in a game, you’re going to feel it the next day, so you want to work through some of that stiffness. It’s going to take the better part of a week to see where Chris is and we’ll just see where it goes.”
  • Vernon Wells (right thumb) was cleared for his rehab assignment, but they’ll bring him along slowly. Scioscia previously said it could be 7-10 days. ““Vernon has some work to do. He’s been out for a while. He’s worked very hard, doing as much as he can without playing in a baseball game, but once you get into a baseball, just like that first game of Spring Training, you’re never ready for it until you play. Then you work some stiffness out.”
  • Many of you have asked why Hank Conger (.325/.376/.461 in Triple-A) isn’t up in the big leagues. So, I asked the skipper (and remember, John Hester can indeed be optioned). “I think Hank has made some improvements, and I think that long range, he’s an exciting prospect. I think that he was banged up, I want to say a couple weeks ago a little bit, but he’s bounced back and is continuing to improve. I’m sure at some point he’s going to push through that door and get himself into the big leagues. There are some things that are still a work in progress with Hank, and he’s going to work hard at it.” … Truth: It’s clear Scioscia just isn’t comfortable with Conger’s defense behind the plate.
  • Jordan Walden (right biceps strain) will be evaluated by Dr. Lewis Yocum tomorrow, in hopes of being cleared to throw.
  • Pujols has fouled a bunch of balls off his left foot, but — as you saw from the lineup — he’s good to go.
  • Scioscia would consider going with three catchers when Iannetta returns. He may need to, to work himself back in.

Some Angels.com links from Thursday …

  • Angels’ offense stifled again by a Tigers starter
  • Castro: For Angels, a strong finish is all that matters
  • Notebook, on the wait-and-see approach at the Deadline, Pujols’ foot, Iannetta and Wells rehab assignments, etc.
  • Preview, on the start of another big series against the Rangers

Some AL West links …

And for James Jones, there’s more to life than basketball.

Alden

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