Los Angeles Angels ace Jered Weaver will return from the disabled list Wednesday to pitch against the San Francisco Giants.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced the plan Monday before opening an interleague series with the Giants.
Weaver has been out since leaving his May 28 start against the Yankees after just 12 pitches. Last season’s AL Cy Young runner-up had lower back pain, but responded well to rest and treatment.
”It’s very exciting,” Weaver said. ”It feels like it’s been three months instead of a little over 15 days. It’s been a tough one to swallow. I’ve worked real hard on getting that thing taken care of, and the training staff has done a great job to get me back.”
Scioscia says Weaver will throw only 80 to 90 pitches against the Giants, and a day off on Thursday will give him extra rest between starts. The Angels decided Weaver didn’t need a minor league rehab start.
”We didn’t want him to waste bullets in the minor leagues,” Scioscia said. ”The best thing for him was to face major league hitters. There’s no reason he shouldn’t get through the fifth or sixth inning. He’s been out three weeks. If it was six to eight weeks, it would have been different.”
Weaver is 6-1 with a 2.61 ERA, third-best in the AL. He has two complete games, including a no-hitter against Minnesota last month, and opponents are batting just .195 against him.
He wasn’t surprised to hear he’ll be on a pitch limit against the Giants.
”I’ve thrown some simulated games and some extended bullpens to try to get my arm back in shape as much as possible,” Weaver said. ”But I understand that they want to take it kind of slow coming back into this. Hopefully I’ll get some early outs and try to extend myself in that game.”
The Angels likely must drop one pitcher from their rotation when Weaver returns, but pitching on Wednesday will push back Scioscia’s decision on the fate of rookie Garrett Richards and veteran Jerome Williams. Dan Haren, who had been scheduled to start Wednesday, now will open the Freeway Series against the Dodgers on Friday.
Richards (2-0) pitched four-hit ball into the ninth inning Sunday in his third straight strong start since replacing Weaver in the rotation, saying afterward he’s ready for a full-time job in the majors.
After a strong beginning to the season, Williams (6-5) has lost three straight starts culminating in Monday’s 5-3 loss to the Giants — and the right-hander spent the night in the hospital after experiencing shortness of breath in the clubhouse after the game.
The Angels made several roster moves Monday to accommodate catcher Bobby Wilson’s return from the disabled list with a concussion, recalled infielder Andrew Romine and designating reliever David Pauley for assignment for the second time this season. Catcher Hank Conger was optioned back to Triple-A Salt Lake on Sunday.
Wilson is batting just .171 this season, but is the Angels’ most dependable catcher in the absence of Chris Iannetta, who has been out since May 10 after having surgery on his right wrist. Iannetta is expected to miss at least another week, but the Angels won’t put a timetable on his rehabilitation.
Pauley was 0-1 with a 4.35 ERA in five appearances for the Angels, who recalled him from Salt Lake on May 7 and designated him for assignment 2 1/2 weeks later. The veteran right-hander was selected again by the Angels last week.