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Scioscia: McPherson Stays in Minor Leagues for Now

Times Staff Writer

Despite a public clamoring for the Angels to recall third base prospect Dallas McPherson and numerous signs that would indicate an imminent promotion to the big leagues, Manager Mike Scioscia reiterated Saturday that the slugger will remain for now at triple-A Salt Lake.

When third baseman Robb Quinlan tore a rib-cage muscle Tuesday, General Manager Bill Stoneman stepped up his efforts to trade for a veteran third baseman, preferably one with some power.

Although Chone Figgins has filled in capably for injured third baseman Troy Glaus for much of the season and returned there after Quinlan was injured, Scioscia would prefer to move the versatile Figgins around the field, plugging him into any one of six positions depending on the needs of the day.

The logical solution seems to be in-house: fans see McPherson’s eye-popping numbers at Salt Lake, where in 49 games he is batting .325 with 17 home runs and 49 runs batted in, and wonder why McPherson, who hit .321 with 20 homers and 69 RBIs in 68 games at double-A Arkansas this season, isn’t already in Anaheim.

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After all, first baseman Casey Kotchman was called up from double A to replace the injured Darin Erstad in May and was hardly overmatched. Why not give McPherson a shot now?

It’s a little more complicated than that, Scioscia said.

“Dallas is going to be here when he’s ready for that challenge and the opportunity presents itself,” Scioscia said, “and right now, those two are not at a level where you want them to be.”

For all his offensive prowess, McPherson is not as advanced defensively as Kotchman. And for all his power, McPherson is striking out at an alarming rate -- 71 times in 191 at-bats at Salt Lake.

“It’s not all just defense,” Scioscia said. “There’s a development that takes place in a player that only experience can give you. He’s only been in triple A for two months. He’s doing well, but there’s a learning curve, and there’s a big jump from triple A to the big leagues. Dallas has made gains, but there’s still a ways to go.”

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Jarrod Washburn, sidelined since July 21 because of a strained ligament in his left rib cage, threw in the bullpen for 15 minutes before Saturday’s game, airing out his fastball and showing better command.

Washburn is scheduled to throw to hitters Tuesday in Anaheim, and, barring any setbacks, will begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment of one or two games late this week.

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Kelvim Escobar, hampered by a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand Tuesday night at Tampa Bay, will make today’s scheduled start against the Yankees.... Garret Anderson, experiencing discomfort in his left shin, where he was hit by a pitch July 12, and his right knee, was moved from center field to designated hitter before Saturday’s game.... Veteran Andres Galarraga is making a strong push for a promotion -- he had five singles and two RBIs on Friday and is batting .350 in 15 games at Salt Lake.


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