Angels notes: Dan Haren scratched from start Saturday; Howie Kendrick, Vernon Wells near return
Angels right-hander Dan Haren, whose streak of 214 starts is the longest among active major league pitchers, was scratched from his scheduled start Saturday against the New York Yankees because of lower-back stiffness.
Haren, whose bullpen session Wednesday in Kansas City was cut short because of back spasms, had long-toss session from 200 feet with no discomfort Friday, and if he comes out of a bullpen session Sunday OK, he is expected to start Tuesday night against Tampa Bay.
Since Haren's next start would be pushed back three days, the Angels were trying to contact the Elias Sports Bureau before Friday night's game to determine whether that constituted a "missed start." Haren has not missed a start since 2005.
Because of Thursday's off-day, Manager Mike Scioscia was able to easily juggle his rotation, moving Ervin Santana up to Saturday night, Joel Pineiro up to Sunday and Tyler Chatwood up to Monday night.
"Right now, avoiding the disabled list was a priority," said Haren, who is 5-3 with a 2.29 earned-run average. "I got lucky with the off days. Obviously, I pride myself on making every start, but if tomorrow was a playoff game, I think I'd be ready to go."
The Angels' offense should receive a boost from the return of Howie Kendrick, who is to be activated off the disabled list for Saturday night's game. Kendrick, who leads the team with a .322 average and has a .370 career mark against the Yankees, the highest of any active player with at least 150 plate appearances, was on the disabled list because of a right hamstring strain.
Left fielder Vernon Wells, on the DL since May 10 because of a right groin strain, went through another rigorous workout Friday afternoon and, after taking Saturday off, is set to begin a brief rehabilitation assignment with triple-A Salt Lake on Sunday.
Angels right-hander Jered Weaver, who has not won since April 25, is scheduled to start Friday night against the Yankees.
The Angels' lineup: 2B Maicer Izturis, SS Erick Aybar, LF Bobby Abreu, RF Torii Hunter, 3B Alberto Callaspo, DH Russell Branyan, 1B Mark Trumbo, C Jeff Mathis, CF Peter Bourjos, P Jered Weaver.
The Yankees' lineup: SS Derek Jeter, CF Curtis Granderson, 1B Mark Teixeira, 3B Alex Rodriguez, 2B Robinson Cano, C Russell Martin, RF Nick Swisher, DH Jorge Posada, LF Brett Gardner, P Ivan Nova.
-- Mike DiGiovanna
Photo: Angels starter Dan Haren delivers a pitch during a game against the Chicago White Sox on April 17. Credit: Paul Beaty / Associated Press