Angels morning briefing: Injury updates, lineups, Salmon gets TV gig
Angels first baseman Kendrys Morales, whose rehabilitation from a broken left ankle has been slowed by soreness in the ball of his left foot and his left big toe, began wearing new orthotic inserts in his shoes on Thursday and his hoping to resume baseball activities soon.
"The throbbing has gone down a lot," Morales, who will open the season on the disabled list, said through a translator. "As soon as they give me the OK [to resume workouts] I will be ready."
Morales will return to Anaheim with the Angels after Saturday's final Cactus League game, and he will continue his rehab under the team's direct supervision, not in Arizona.
Left fielder Vernon Wells, who left Wednesday's game after three innings because of tightness in his left hamstring, received treatment Thursday and will be held out of games for several days. He is expected to play Saturday or Sunday.
"It's mild, but we want to give him a couple of days to get it to a better level," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's played a lot of left field and center field, and he has enough at-bats to start the season, so there's not a lot to accomplish by pushing him through this."
Reliever Scott Downs, who broke a bone in his left big toe on March 13 and will also open on the DL, has shed his walking boot and has been throwing long toss to keep his arm in shape. He will be reexamined Monday, at which point he hopes to be cleared to begin throwing off a mound.
Reserve outfielder Reggie Willits, out since March 13 because of a left calf strain, will get four at-bats in a minor league game Thursday but won't run the bases. He is scheduled to run the bases Friday morning, and if all goes well, he should be cleared to play in a game.
"I'm on schedule," said Willits, who is expected to open the season on the DL. "I just have to clear a couple of hurdles."
In other news, former Angels outfielder Tim Salmon, who has been working some spring-training telecasts, will make several appearances throughout the season on FS West, primarily on the Angels' pre- and post-game shows.
The Angels will play Milwaukee Thursday at 1 p.m. in Tempe Diablo Stadium, with left-hander Scott Kazmir opposing Brewers left-hander Randy Wolf. Relievers Fernando Rodney, Kevin Jepsen (who has been slowed by left hip tightness) and Jordan Walden are also scheduled to pitch for the Angels.
The Angels lineup: 2B Maicer Izturis, 1B Howie Kendrick, LF Bobby Abreu, RF Torii Hunter, DH Alberto Callaspo, SS Erick Aybar, C Jeff Mathis, 3B Brandon Wood, CF Peter Bourjos.
--Mike DiGiovanna in Tempe, Ariz.
Photo: Vernon Wells. Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images