Angels' Kendrick to DL; team signs Russell Branyan
In a corresponding move, the Angels signed free-agent first baseman Russell Branyan, who was designated for assignment last week by the Arizona Diamondbacks and officially released Wednesday. Branyan was activated and will be in uniform for Thursday's game against the A's.
Branyan, 35, is one of 11 American League players to record at least 25 home runs in each of the last two seasons (2009-10). The 14-year veteran owns a .234 lifetime batting average with 190 home runs and 455 RBI in 1,022 games with 10 different clubs.
The left-handed-hitting Branyan has always had excellent power, but with his big swing has come prodigious strikeout numbers--he whiffed 133 times in 2010 and 149 times in 2009. At triple-A Buffalo in 1999, Branyan struck out 187 times.
In addition to playing first base, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Branyan can play third base, and he has also started 221 big-league games in the outfield. The Angels are extremely thin in left field with Vernon Wells and, now, Kendrick, on the disabled list.
Kendrick hadn't played since last Thursday, when his hamstring tightened up in the ninth inning of a game in Seattle. Kendrick, who leads the team with a .322 average, ran before Thursday's game, and Manager Mike Scioscia said he was feeling better, but apparently not enough to where the Angels felt he would be ready to play by this weekend.
We'll have more on the moves later at Latimes.com/sports.
-- Mike DiGiovanna
Photo: Anaheim Angels first baseman Howie Kendrick. Credit: Kelvin Kuo / US Presswire