Wrist surgery to sideline Iannetta for 6-8 weeks

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Angels suffered a significant loss on the eve of their highly anticipated series against the Texas Rangers when they discovered on Thursday that Chris Iannetta will need surgery on his right wrist, a procedure that will sideline the catcher for six to eight weeks.

Iannetta injured his wrist when he was hit by a pitch in his first at-bat on May 2, the night he caught Jered Weaver’s no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins.

Iannetta, who is batting .197 with a .312 on-base percentage, three home runs, four doubles and nine runs batted in, played only one inning of the next three games, as a defensive replacement.

But he returned to the starting lineup Sunday and played three straight games before sitting out Wednesday night’s game at Minnesota, when the pain in the wrist grew worse.

Diagnostic tests determined that Iannetta suffered a fracture in the wrist, and he will undergo surgery Friday in Los Angeles.

Reserve catcher Bobby Wilson, who is batting .222 with one RBI, will take over as the primary catcher, and the Angels will add another catcher to the roster before Friday night’s game against the Rangers.

Hank Conger would have been the obvious choice, but the switch-hitter has been on the triple-A disabled list because of a strained elbow. He hasn’t played since mid-April and hasn’t begun throwing yet during rehabilitation. Robinzon Diaz and John Hester have been catching at Salt Lake.

Diaz is the better hitter of the two triple-A catchers, but opponents have been successful on 13 of 14 stolen-base attempts against him. Hester has been with Salt Lake for only a week after being released by Baltimore’s triple-A club. He’s the better defender but is unfamiliar with the Angels’ big league pitchers.

There is a good chance the Angels will dip down to their double-A Arkansas club for Alberto Rosario, who has a strong throwing arm and caught the Angels’ big league pitchers during spring training.

–Mike DiGiovanna