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Angels closer Brian Fuentes goes on disabled list; Reggie Willits activated

April 14, 2010 |  8:43 am

Fuentes_400 Angels closer Brian Fuentes was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday because of a muscle strain in the middle of his back, an injury the left-hander suffered while lifting weights the first week of the season.

Fuentes, whose only appearance came when he recorded the save in the Angels' season-opening win over Minnesota on April 5, played catch for the first time in a week on Tuesday, and he threw again Wednesday.

But the Angels, concerned Fuentes wouldn't be ready to pitch in a game for several more days, placed him on the DL, retroactive to April 6, and recalled reliever Francisco Rodriguez from triple-A Salt Lake. Fuentes will be eligible to be activated on April 21.

"I was working out and just tweaked it," Fuentes said. "It was kind of a freak thing. I took some time off, and it kept tightening up to the point where I couldn't throw. ... It's getting better, but we can't afford to wait for it to get better when we're down a guy in the bullpen."

Manager Mike Scioscia said right-hander Fernando Rodney, who closed for the Detroit Tigers last season, would fill in at closer until Fuentes returns, with Scot Shields and Kevin Jepsen serving as set-up men.

In an unrelated move, the Angels activated reserve outfielder Reggie Willits (right hamstring strain) off the disabled list. Willits took the roster spot vacated by reliever Bobby Cassevah, who was sent to triple-A after Tuesday's 7-5 loss to the Yankees.

-- Mike DiGiovanna in New York

Photo: Brian Fuentes throws during spring training. Credit: Eric Risberg / Associated Press.