Kendrick suffers setback

Times Staff Writers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Howie Kendrick's return to the Angels' lineup was pushed back for the second time in four days Wednesday when his tender left hamstring failed to respond favorably following a minor league rehabilitation assignment.

Kendrick, out since April 14, was expected to fly with the team to Kansas City on Sunday but was left behind when he reported some soreness after his first game with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. He left Rancho Cucamonga's game after seven innings Tuesday.

Manager Mike Scioscia said Kendrick probably will sit out this weekend's Angels series at Tampa Bay.

"I'm sure it's probably going to be when we get home," Scioscia said of Kendrick's return. "The matter of the extra three, four, five days it might take is definitely worth the price to feel better about his long-term health.

"He felt good up to a certain point, but he did feel a little bit of stiffness at the end. It's moving in the right direction, but we're not quite there."

Kendrick, who homered twice, singled and stole a base Tuesday, is five for six in two minor league games. He was to be re-evaluated by the Angels medical staff Wednesday in California and is expected to play in another rehab game tonight.

Also mending slower than expected is Chone Figgins, who hasn't been able to run since straining his right hamstring sliding at the plate Saturday against Baltimore. Figgins has resumed some baseball activities, but with the Angels off today, he won't run until Friday at the earliest.

"We'll get a little better idea after the off day where he is," Scioscia said. "He's got to get in some physical activity first before we can evaluate him. And he's not quite there yet."


Scioscia took advantage of today's off day by resting first baseman Casey Kotchman on Wednesday for only the fourth time this season, giving him a two-day break to alleviate some tightness in his groin.

"I don't think it's anything to be worried about," Scioscia said of Kotchman, the team's leading hitter at .333. "Under some circumstances, he probably could have played."


The Angels and the city of Anaheim are scheduled to return to court next month for the latest and perhaps last round in the city's 3-year-old challenge to the team's name change.

The state appellate court will then have 90 days to decide whether, as the city claims, Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter Polos issued improper rulings that significantly influenced a jury's 2005 finding that the Angels' addition of Los Angeles to their name did not violate their stadium lease. The jury decided the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim name satisfied a clause requiring the team name to "include the name Anaheim therein."

If the appellate court supports the city's view, according to Anaheim attorney Michael Rubin, the court could order a new trial. The appellate court also could rule that the jury verdict would have been different but for Polos' rulings, Rubin said, in which case the Superior Court could be ordered to award financial damages and/or overturn the name change.

If the appeal is denied, the matter would end, barring an unlikely appeal to the California Supreme Court.


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