The next time Kelvim Escobar feels a little pinch in his throwing shoulder, as he did against Oakland on April 8, he’s going to keep it to himself.
The Angels right-hander told Manager Mike Scioscia and team trainers about his discomfort, and five days later, Escobar, much to his dismay, was put on the 15-day disabled list.
“I don’t think there was any need for the DL,” said Escobar, who will be activated to start today against the Detroit Tigers. “I don’t like to be on the DL, man -- it’s not good for you. For some reason, here, they don’t wait to put you on the DL.
“I understand it’s early April, and they want me to rest and make sure it’s nothing serious. But I know myself, I know my arm better than anybody, and I knew it was a one-start thing. But I guess they do things different here. Next time, I won’t say anything, because I don’t want to go on the DL.”
Escobar, in the first year of a three-year, $28.5-million contract extension, is a little sensitive about the subject. The 30-year-old has been on the DL five times since joining the Angels in 2004, and he doesn’t want to be stamped as fragile.
Plus, he pitched through bouts of shoulder tendinitis with Toronto when he was younger and thought he could rebound from this setback in time to start late last week. Instead, he missed two starts.
Scioscia stood by the team’s decision. “We talked about a lot of different things and figured if we’re going to err one way or another, we were going to err on the side of [caution],” he said. “The way it worked out, he might have pitched late last week as opposed to [today]. That was really a small price to pay to make sure he’s healthy and could throw a couple of bullpens, and so we wouldn’t come up short on the pitching end.”
Bartolo Colon’s left ankle, twisted when he covered first base in the second inning against Seattle on Saturday night, is sore enough that the right-hander’s next start, scheduled for Thursday against Tampa Bay, could be pushed back a few days.
The Angels, Scioscia said, will go with a 12-man pitching staff “until we see where Bart’s ankle and Kelvim’s length are.” That means right-hander Dustin Moseley, 1-0 with a 1.20 earned-run average in four games (two starts), will remain with the team, and outfielder Tommy Murphy will not. Murphy was optioned to Salt Lake after Monday’s game.
Moseley, who appeared vulnerable to a demotion, will be needed to start Thursday if Colon can’t go.
“I’ll catch bullpens -- I don’t care, as long as I’m up here,” Moseley said. “I’m ready for anything. I’ll do anything I can to help the team.”
Chone Figgins, on the DL because of fractures in the index and middle fingers of his right hand, fielded grounders and made throws from third base for 20 minutes Monday and looked good enough to convince the Angels he’s ready to start a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
Figgins will play one game for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday before joining triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday. Barring any setbacks, he will join the Angels on Monday in Kansas City.
“I feel comfortable,” said Figgins, who had been concerned about the accuracy of his throws. “Now I’ve got to go and compete.”