Howie Kendrick hoped to start a brief minor league rehabilitation assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday night, but instead, the second baseman remained in Anaheim, his strained left hamstring not healed to the point where he can return to action.
“He’s trying to get over that last little hump,” Manager Mike Scioscia said of Kendrick, who has been on the disabled list since April 14. “Until he does, we don’t think it’s a good idea for him to go out and play. He’ll work out, and we’ll see how he feels [today].”
Kendrick, who has been running near full speed for several days, seems to be getting frustrated with his lack of progress.
“It’s the same story -- nothing is different,” said Kendrick, who is hitting .500 in 36 at-bats. “I’m working it, and there’s a little bit of soreness still in there. I hope to play soon, but I can’t really rush it.”
The Angels put infielder Maicer Izturis on the 15-day DL because of a strained lower back, a move that cleared a roster spot for pitcher Nick Adenhart, who made his major league debut Thursday night.
Izturis hadn’t played since he left Sunday night’s game in Detroit when he “felt something grab” in his lower back while running from first to second. Izturis has a history of hamstring problems, but this is the first time he hurt his back.
“I try not to think about getting hurt, but when you play hard, sometimes things happen,” Izturis said. “With a little rest, I should be ready to play in nine days.”
Scioscia received an encouraging report from athletic trainer Ned Bergert on pitcher Kelvim Escobar, who is in Arizona rehabilitating from a shoulder tear.
“He feels great -- that’s the word I just got from Ned,” Scioscia said. “Not that he’s throwing his split-fingered fastball and slider at full bore, but he feels much different than he did when he started to throw [in mid-March].”
Escobar is in the second week of his throwing program and is approaching the 90-foot mark. The right-hander was shut down after throwing only three times from 45 feet in March.
Escobar was transferred to the 60-day DL Thursday to make room on the 40-man roster for Adenhart.
Torii Hunter started at designated hitter for the third time this season Thursday night, but it wasn’t by necessity. His left big toe, which he jammed in mid-April, is fine, and Hunter has no other health concerns.
“I don’t think I want to get used to being a DH, period,” Hunter said. “But I understand what Mike is trying to do -- he wants to give my body a rest, he wants to keep everyone fresh. I’m OK with that. I understand. I’m not that selfish.”
Further research revealed that Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana became only the second pair of teammates in baseball history to go 5-0 in April. The other two were Rick Helling and Aaron Sele, who went 5-0 for the Texas Rangers in April of 1998. . . . Santana, 25, became the youngest active pitcher to reach 40 career victories with Wednesday’s win over Oakland.