Angels notes: Alexi Amarista to make big league debut; return of Joel Pineiro, Scott Downs near
Alexi Amarista, called up from triple-A Salt Lake on Monday, will make his major league debut Tuesday night at second base against the Oakland Athletics, giving the Angels an infield that will tower over no one, at least in physical stature.
Amarista, who hit .455 in 16 games at Salt Lake, is generously listed in the team's media guide at 5 feet 8 and 150 pounds, but he is closer to 5-6. Filling out the infield will be shortstop Erick Aybar (5-10), third baseman Alberto Callaspo (5-9) and first baseman Howie Kendrick (5-10).
"If Oakland goes to a low-post game we're going to have to make some adjustments," Manager Mike Scioscia joked before the game. "We'll get (6-4) Mark Trumbo and (6-7) Jered Weaver in there. But we should be able to get that fastbreak going."
Amarista, a native of Venezuela, may be small in stature, "but he's always played big," Scioscia said. "He's a terrific defender who will put the ball in play and give us a boost. He has good range to both sides, a good arm, he charges the ball well and turns the double play well."
In other news, Joel Pineiro, on the disabled list because of right shoulder tightness, said he felt great in the wake of Monday night's 5 2/3-inning, 71-pitch rehabilitation start for Class-A Inland Empire.
The right-hander will throw a bullpen session Wednesday, after which the team will decide whether he will pitch Saturday for the Angels or make one last rehab start. Barring a setback, he probably will pitch Saturday in Tampa Bay, with Matt Palmer likely headed back to Salt Lake.
Reliever Scott Downs, on the DL because of a gastrointestinal disorder, has thrown two bullpen sessions in the last week and will throw a light bullpen Wednesday before being activated for Friday's game against the Rays.
Photo: Alexi Amarista. Credit: Charlie Riedel/ AP