Angels third baseman David Freese was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday because of a small fracture on the middle finger of his right hand, an injury that set off a flurry of roster moves before Saturday night’s game against the Texas Rangers.
The team recalled third baseman Luis Jimenez from triple-A Salt Lake and, in an effort to bolster their power from the right side, promoted first baseman C.J. Cron, a first-round pick in 2011, from triple A.
Outfielder J.B. Shuck was optioned to triple A, and reliever Yoslan Herrera was outrighted to Salt Lake to clear a 40-man roster spot for Cron, who will make his major league debut at designated hitter Saturday night.
Freese, injured when he was hit by a Colby Lewis pitch in the third inning Friday night, said he is confident he will be able to return in 15 days. He had just begun to warm at the plate, an eight-for-21 stretch raising his average from .143 on April 25 to .202 Friday night.
“It’s frustrating, because I was feeling it,” Freese said. “But I think I have a good plan for getting back to where I need to be.”
Manager Mike Scioscia said the right-handed-hitting Luis Jimenez, who hit .304 with seven homers and 15 runs batted in in 24 games at Salt Lake, will split time at third base with the left-handed-hitting Ian Stewart.
Cron, who hit .319 with six homers and 26 RBIs in 28 games at Salt Lake, will share time with Raul Ibanez at DH and spell Albert Pujols at first base if necessary.
Scioscia said he didn’t have any special words of wisdom or advice for Cron, the son of former Angels infielder Chris Cron.
“Just go play baseball,” Scioscia said. “There’s nothing you’re going to tell a guy that will have as much impact as stepping in a big league batter’s box and seeing a pitcher. It’s not verbiage that gets you ready to play a game in the major leagues. It’s the experience of going out there and doing it.”
Scioscia also said reliever Dane De La Rosa, limited by shoulder and forearm injuries to one appearance this season, will begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment with Salt Lake on Sunday. The right-hander could return to the Angels by the middle of May.
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