Scioscia Still Hopes Finley Can Get Hot

Times Staff Writer

Steve Finley, a two-time All-Star and six-time playoff participant, is well aware he cannot maintain his place in the lineup on credentials alone.

“We’re in a pennant race. You’ve got to be productive. I understand that,” he said. “This game is not about what you’ve done before. It’s about what you’re doing right now.”

The Angel Stadium fans have taken to booing Finley, who is hitting .213 with a .267 on-base percentage.

He is hitting .115 this month, with two extra-base hits in his last 88 at-bats.


The Angels do not appear in any hurry to bench their center fielder, in part because Chone Figgins is needed at third base to replace the injured Dallas McPherson and in part because they consider Finley overdue for one of his trademark hot streaks.

“Right now, we’re a better team if Steve Finley can swing the bat close to his capability and be productive,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “If that doesn’t happen, naturally we’ll move forward.”

With no indication that might happen, and with 122 games down and 40 to go, when might Scioscia bench Finley?

“You want to give it every chance,” Scioscia said. “I don’t think there’s going to be a definitive time. The upside of Finley swinging like he can is tremendous.”


Finley, 40, said he feels no discomfort from the shoulder injury that hampered him in April and May and finally pushed him onto the disabled list in June.

“Now it’s not physical anymore,” he said. “It’s frustrating for me. It’s frustrating for everybody. All it’s going to take is for it to click. Once it clicks, I’ll do some damage. I have 100% confidence in my ability. I know it’s there.”


Garret Anderson is not likely to return before Tuesday, Scioscia said. If he can’t play by then, the Angels probably will put him on the disabled list. He has not played in a week because of irritation in his back and tendinitis in his left knee.... Kelvim Escobar is scheduled to make the first of three minor league rehabilitation starts Tuesday for triple-A Salt Lake. The last is scheduled for Sept. 2, and Scioscia said the Angels’ needs at that time would determine whether Escobar returns as a starter or reliever.... Boston pitcher Bronson Arroyo performs a triple-header today. He’ll start against the Angels in Anaheim at 1, autograph his CD “Covering the Bases” at Guitar Center in Hollywood from 7-8 p.m., then play a private show at Sonny McLean’s, an Irish pub in Santa Monica. Arroyo sings and plays guitar on his album, a compilation of cover songs.