Angels put closer Fuentes on DL with strained back
Los Angeles Angels closer Brian Fuentes was placed on the 15-day
disabled list Wednesday with a strained back, the latest hiccup in
the team’s slow start.
The move was made retroactive to April 6. Fuentes, a four-time
All-Star who hasn’t pitched since opening day, said he tweaked his
back while lifting weights last week. The stiffness left him unable
to throw until he played catch Tuesday and Wednesday.
“It was just kind of a freak thing,” Fuentes said, adding that
he was examined recently by a chiropractor. “It feels
significantly better now.”
Still, the Angels can’t afford to remain a man short in the
bullpen so they put the left-hander on the DL and purchased the
contract of right-hander Francisco Rodriguez from Triple-A Salt
Los Angeles was 2-6 going into Wednesday’s game against the New
York Yankees. Manager Mike Scioscia said the Angels would turn to
Fernando Rodney in closing situations.
“I think we have back-end guys that are ready for it,”
Scioscia said. “It shouldn’t slow the continuity that needs to
develop in the bullpen.”
Rodney saved 37 games for the Detroit Tigers last season before
signing an $11 million, two-year contract with Los Angeles, which
has won three straight AL West titles.
“It’s a nice insurance policy to have,” Fuentes said.
The Angels also activated outfielder Reggie Willits from the
disabled list. Willits had been rehabbing his strained right
hamstring in the minors.
Los Angeles will need to make another roster move to create room
for left-hander Scott Kazmir, scheduled to start Thursday night
against the Yankees in his season debut. Kazmir, acquired from
Tampa Bay in a trade last August, also has been sidelined with a
strained right hamstring.
On Tuesday, the Angels optioned right-hander Bobby Cassevah to
Salt Lake and transferred outfielder Chris Pettit to the 60-day