Don Baylor visits Angels’ clubhouse

Don Baylor has been in constant contact with Scioscia and the team since his injury.

Lisa Blumenfeld

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Angels had a visitor Tuesday before their 6-4 win over Cleveland.

It was none other than hitting coach Don Baylor.

The 64-year-old, still rehabbing from surgery earlier this month to replace a fractured right femur, met with coaches and players for about an hour before the game.

"When Don walked in you could still feel his presence," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Before the team’s last road trip, Scioscia stated he anticipated Baylor coming to the stadium during the team’s next homestand which started Monday with game one against Cleveland.

Baylor, who was injured in a freak incident on Opening Day while trying to catch the ceremonial first pitch, has been in constant contact with Scioscia and the team since his injury.

In his absence assistant hitting coach Dave Hansen and hitting instructor Paul Sorrento have picked up the slack.

Don Baylor injured on first pitch on Opening Day


As Baylor has watched, the Angels entered Wednesday with a major league best 37 home runs while hitting .256 as a team — good enough for 10th in MLB.  

Baylor got around with the aid of a walker, Scioscia admitted, and didn’t shy away from offering his opinions.

"(He) definitely has some lineup opinions that are very helpful," Scioscia said of Baylor. "He’s still helping, no doubt."

Asked who Baylor thought should be the team’s leadoff hitter, Scioscia speaking of behalf of Baylor offered: "He’s good with the direction we’re going right now."

Tuesday’s lineup saw Howie Kendrick in the leadoff spot for the first time this season, while Erick Aybar hit in the six-hole.

It worked out for the Angels. Kendrick went 1-for-2 and drove in two runs. It was a four-hit night for Aybar, who drove in a run as well. The Angels scored six run on 12 hits in the win.

Wednesday, Scioscia’s lineup card was similar with Kendrick and Aybar in the same spots, respectively, as the Angels tried to go for the sweep over the Indians.

Scioscia says he expects more visits from Baylor although he’s not sure how many. He says after the team’s next road trip they’ll have a better idea of how close Baylor is to re-joining the club on a full-time basis.

"He’s still 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 but I know he’€™ll be coming by" Scioscia said.