Don Baylor pays a visit to the Angels …
Angels hitting coach Don Baylor rejoined the team for the first time since suffering a fractured right femur while catching Vladimir Guerrero‘s ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day. Baylor, still in a walker, was in the clubhouse for about an hour prior to Tuesday’s game, meeting with the coaching staff and chatting with his hitters.
“Just having Don walk in, you can still feel his presence,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “It’s great to get caught up with him. We miss him.”
Baylor said on April 7 that it would be an estimated four to six weeks before he can put weight on his right side, which would allow the 64-year-old to move a little bit more freely. That would fall anywhere between May 5 and 19, and Scioscia said the team hopes to get a better gauge for Baylor’s ability to be around the team more frequently by the time it returns from its next road trip, through Toronto and Philadelphia, on May 15.
Baylor, mostly resting at his home in La Quinta, Calif., wasn’t with the team for Wednesday’s series finale against the Indians, but Scioscia is “sure he’s going to be by” again during this nine-game homestand.
“I don’t know how many times,” Scioscia said. “He’s making progress, but he still has a ways to go before we’re going to see him in the dugout, and it’s still an effort for him to get in and move around a little bit.”
Baylor, Scioscia added, has been “as connected as you can be” and “definitely has some lineup opinions that are very helpful.”
Asked if Baylor would approve of batting Howie Kendrick leadoff on back-to-back days, Scioscia smirked and said: “He’s good with the direction we’re going.”
Michael Bourn, CF
Mike Aviles, LF
Nick Swisher, 1B
Carlos Santana, 3B
Ryan Raburn, DH
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Yan Gomes, C
David Murphy, RF
Elliot Johnson, 2B
SP: RH Zach McAllister (3-1, 3.14 ERA)
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Mike Trout, CF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Raul Ibanez, DH
David Freese, 3B
Erick Aybar, SS
Hank Conger, C
Collin Cowgill, RF
J.B. Shuck, LF
SP: LH C.J. Wilson (3-2, 3.69 ERA)
- Pujols’ home-run tracker is still up in Angel Stadium, flashing 501 as it sits beyond the bleachers in right-center field. The sign is expected to come down on Sunday.
- Sean Burnett (recovery from August elbow surgery) threw 11 pitches in an extended Spring Training game in Tuesday and Scioscia said “his stuff looked good.” Burnett is expected to do the same again on Friday, as is Dane De La Rosa (right s/c joint irritation). “They’re making progress,” Scioscia said, “but they’re not really knocking on the door yet.”
- Joe Smith is expected to be available if needed in a save situation on Wednesday, despite pitching in back-to-back games.
- The wind is swirling once again today. Shuck said it was hard to get a read on fly balls last night. He felt like line drives were carrying, but balls were dying once they reached a certain elevation.