Angels notes: Izturis out, Bourjos to lead off; Morales, Pineiro, Aybar heading to Arizona
Center fielder Peter Bourjos, who hit a home run and a double in Tuesday night's 2-0 victory over Cleveland, has been moved from his customary No. 9 spot to the leadoff spot against the Indians for Wednesday afternoon's series finale in Angel Stadium.
For the second time in four days, Manager Mike Scioscia is not starting leadoff batter Maicer Izturis in a day game after a night game. Izturis, a valuable and versatile infielder, went on the disabled list three times and was limited to only 61 games last season, so the Angels are handling him with care.
"He's feeling strong, but we're definitely trying to pace some guys," Scioscia said. "He'll be available on a limited basis."
With temperatures in Chicago ranging from a low of 39 degrees to a high of only 57 this weekend, and rain expected Friday and Saturday, the Angels, who have a three-game series against the White Sox, will send pitcher Joel Pineiro, shortstop Erick Aybar and first baseman Kendrys Morales to Arizona to continue their rehabilitations Thursday.
Morales, recovering from a broken left ankle, ran straight-ahead sprints on the field for the second day in a row Wednesday, and Scioscia said the slugger looked "much better; he picked up his intensity." Morales did 10 sprints of 110 feet, picking up speed as he went along.
Once he is able to run the bases aggressively without pain, Morales will begin playing games, probably starting in Arizona and working his way up to a minor league affiliate, but Scioscia didn't want to predict when that might happen.
"We're going to be cautiously optimistic, because we felt really good about where he was in spring training, and he hit a plateau," Scioscia said.
Pineiro, sidelined since the last week of March because of tightness in his right shoulder-blade area, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Thursday and will then progress to a simulated game or two before pitching in a game.
"My goal is to be back pitching [for the Angels] in the last week of April or the first week of May," Pineiro said. "I haven't had a setback. I'm just doing more long-toss and exercises in between my bullpen days. I think they're babying it a little, to make sure I'm taking it easy."
Aybar, on the disabled list because of a ribcage strain, hopes to return to the lineup early next week.
The Indians' lineup for Wednesday: CF Michael Brantley, SS Asdrubal Cabrera, RF Shin-Soo Choo, C Carlos Santana, DH Travis Hafner, 2B Orlando Cabrera, LF Austin Kearns, 1B Matt LaPorta, 3B Adam Everett, P Carlos Carrasco.
The Angels' lineup: CF Peter Bourjos, 2B Howie Kendrick, DH Bobby Abreu, RF Torii Hunter, LF Vernon Wells, 3B Alberto Callaspo, 1B Mark Trumbo, C Hank Conger, SS Brandon Wood, P Ervin Santana.
-- Mike DiGiovanna
Photo: Los Angeles Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos hits a two-run triple to right center against the Toronto Blue Jays during the fourth inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Anaheim, CA April 10, 2011. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Reuters