Kotchman starts to get his bearings
Casey Kotchman was still “a little out of it” Sunday after suffering a mild concussion and a gash on his head that required three stitches to close when he was hit in the helmet by Dodgers catcher Russell Martin’s pickoff attempt in the seventh inning Saturday.
“I don’t feel as woozy, as spaced out, as I did Saturday,” Kotchman said. “When I get my balance back, when I can work out and get my heart rate up without getting a little disoriented, I should be ready to go.”
That process is expected to take at least two or three days, maybe more, but not long enough to send Kotchman, who is batting .333 with eight home runs and 35 runs batted in and has been the team’s hottest hitter of late, to the disabled list.
Kotchman, who “blacked out for a second” after being hit while diving back to second base, was hospitalized Saturday, and a CT-scan revealed a Grade I concussion, the mildest form of brain injury. A Grade III concussion is the most severe.
Kotchman had not seen a replay as of Sunday morning, but teammates told him his batting helmet, which is supposed to protect players from major head injuries, remained firmly on his head throughout the play.
“When you suffer a concussion and a cut on your head and you have your helmet on, that’s a little strange,” Kotchman said.
Garret Anderson declined to discuss his latest hip injury, which sent him back to the disabled list Saturday, but Manager Mike Scioscia said the left fielder will be on the DL for at least “a couple of weeks,” which didn’t sound very encouraging.
Anderson was sidelined for six weeks from late April to June after tearing his right hip flexor tendon, and he played in only 11 games before aggravating the injury while making a running catch of a fly ball in the first inning Saturday.
“Obviously, it’s frustrating, but there are no shortcuts to getting healthy,” Scioscia said. “He felt good and thought he was ready, but the stamina in the leg is not where it needs to be.”
Outfielder Terry Evans gave his father, Michael Evans, “the best Father’s Day gift I could ever give,” a call Saturday to break the news he had received his first big league call-up.
But not even Evans, who was hitting .327 with 10 homers and 45 RBIs at triple-A Salt Lake before replacing Anderson on the roster Sunday, could savor the moment for long. He had two hours to get from the stadium in Portland, Ore., to the team hotel to pack his bags and to the airport to catch a flight to Southern California.
“It was such a different mix of emotions because I had to hurry up and get to the airport,” said Evans, who entered Sunday’s game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and struck out on three pitches. “There were no tears. Just a lot of excitement.”
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Three Angels are among the top 10 hitters in the American League (statistics through Sunday):
*--* AMERICAN LEAGUE BATTING LEADERS Player G AB R H Avg. Ordonez, Detroit...66 251 55 93 371 Suzuki, Seattle...66 281 50 100 356 Posada, New York...63 223 40 77 345 Jeter, New York...66 269 50 92 342 Cabrera, Angels...68 275 48 94 342 Polanco, Detroit...62 263 46 89 338 Kotchman, Angels...64 207 29 69 333 Ortiz, Boston...63 228 45 76 333 Youkilis, Boston...64 253 45 84 332 Guerrero, Angels...67 240 38 79 329