Before the season, the Angels had reason to look forward to their series against the Texas Rangers this season. The offseason had set up the likelihood of a season-long battle between the teams for supremacy not only in the AL West but possibly for the American League title.
The two rivals will meet for the first time this weekend in Texas, and the Angels couldn’t be in much worse shape.
While the Rangers took the best record in baseball into their doubleheader in Baltimore on Thursday, the Angels had suffered through a poor start and an even more disappointing debut by Albert Pujols.
Then they learned on their off day Thursday that catcher Chris Iannetta will need surgery on his right wrist to repair a fracture suffered a week ago when he was hit by a pitch during Jered Weaver’s no-hitter.
Iannetta stayed in that game but did not start the next three and was still feeling pain and discomfort in his wrist a week later. Recovery from the wrist surgery is projected to take six-to-eight weeks.
Iannetta was hitless in seven at-bats after the injury, dragging his average down to .197 with three home runs and nine RBI in 26 games.
Bobby Wilson is the only other catcher on the Angels’ roster. He has started 10 of the Angels’ first 32 games this season and started a career-high 35 games.
Catcher Hank Conger was off to a good start in Class AAA this year (.357, two home runs, eight RBI in 13 games) after spending much of last season on the Angels’ roster.
But he has been on the disabled list because of an elbow injury for the last three weeks.
The Angels did not announce a roster decision on Thursday. That is likely to come before Friday’s game in Texas.
NOTES, QUOTES Wilson returns to Texas, faces Darvish on series opener –LHP C.J. Wilson is scheduled to start the series opener Friday in Texas against his former team, the Rangers. RHP Yu Darvish, the free agent essentially signed by the Rangers to replace Wilson, is scheduled to start against the Angels. –Two members of the umpire crew that worked RHP Jered Weaver’s no-hitter in Anaheim last week completed no-hit “cycles.” Ed Hickox and Ed Rapuano have worked each base and home plate during a no-hitter. Hickox worked first base and Rapuano second base in the May 2 no-hitter. –OF Mike Trout had his first career three-hit game in Wednesday’s victory over the Twins. Trout is batting .355 (11-for-31) with five doubles, one home run, four RBI and six runs in his last eight games, all in the leadoff spot. –INF-OF Mark Trumbo has made starts at five different positions — first base (two), third base (eight), left field (three), right field (three) and designated hitter (six). He has hits in 15 of those 22 starts and has reached base in 17 of 23 games. –3B Alberto Callaspo was 2-for-4 in Wednesday’s victory over the Twins. It was his fourth multi-hit game in his last five starts. He had only two multi-hit games in his first 17 and has raised his average 62 points to .250 with this burst. BY THE NUMBERS: 2005 — The last time the Angels had a catcher make at least 100 starts in a season (Bengie Molina). QUOTE TO NOTE: “I think it’ll be a great series. It’s always a great series when we play them, especially in their park. It’s a real hitter’s park. Anything can happen.” — Angels 2B Howie Kendrick, on the series in Texas this weekend.
ROSTER REPORT MEDICAL WATCH: –LHP Scott Downs (bone bruise on left knee) was injured May 6. An MRI exam May 7 revealed the bone bruise but no structural damage. He was available May 9 but didn’t pitch. –RHP LaTroy Hawkins (broken right pinkie finger) went on the 15-day disabled list May 7. He is expected to be out until early to mid-June. –RHP Michael Kohn (flexor strain in right arm) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26. He underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery April 12. –OF Jeremy Moore (left hip surgery in March 2012) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 13. He is unlikely to return before mid-June.