Figgins is back, but Aybar goes on DL
TORONTO -- It’s as if there’s a revolving door to the disabled list for the Angels, who gained third baseman Chone Figgins on Wednesday but lost shortstop Erick Aybar, who is expected to be out about a month because of a severely dislocated right pinkie finger.
The speedy Figgins, out since May 4 because of a right hamstring strain, was activated and plugged into the leadoff spot for Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays.
But Aybar, hurt while diving to stop Alex Rios’ first-inning grounder Tuesday night, was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of an injury the Angels were glad wasn’t worse.
“It’s a tough break for the kid . . . but fortunately, he didn’t need surgery,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “This thing should heal on its own, but it’s going to take some time. It was ugly [Tuesday] night, and they had to put it back in place.
“There are varying degrees with this injury. . . . Best case, the ligament is stretched, worst case it’s ruptured and you need surgery. His dislocation was real. It was out of place, and you could see it. He was in a lot of pain.”
Aybar has cooled at the plate but has provided superb defense.
For now, Maicer Izturis will move from second base to shortstop, and Sean Rodriguez will get the bulk of the playing time at second.
After Wednesday’s game, the Angels recalled Brandon Wood from triple-A Salt Lake to give them more coverage at shortstop. Third baseman Matt Brown was sent back to Salt Lake.
General Manager Tony Reagins essentially shot down a Chicago Sun-Times story speculating that White Sox GM Ken Williams was pursuing Figgins in a trade.
“I haven’t had any conversations with Kenny,” Reagins said, “and we have no interest in moving [Figgins] at this point.”
Figgins has been linked in trade rumors with Chicago for several years because the White Sox love his speed and versatility and now have a hole at the top of their order.
But Figgins has developed into one of the top leadoff hitters in the game -- he entered Wednesday with a major league-best .362 average since May 31, 2007 -- and is an integral part of the Angels’ championship hopes.
“He’s always had value within the organization,” Reagins said, “and he’s an important part of what we’re trying to do.”
Joe Saunders was scratched from today’s scheduled start against Toronto because of severe cold symptoms.
The left-hander had so much sinus pressure Wednesday he said his head felt “like it’s about to explode.” He slept all day and said he had “no energy.” His allergies were acting up.
Because of Monday’s off day, Scioscia moved Friday’s scheduled starter, Ervin Santana, up to today on regular rest. He could also move Saturday’s starter, Jered Weaver, to Friday’s game in Chicago.
Francisco Rodriguez needed 33 pitches to complete the ninth inning of Tuesday’ 3-1 win over Toronto, but it wasn’t the most pitches he has thrown in a one-inning save.
Rodriguez needed 38 pitches to save a Sept. 9, 2004, game at Kansas City, when the right-hander gave up a hit, walked two and struck out one in the ninth.
Kelvim Escobar, in Arizona rehabilitating from a shoulder tear, has extended his long-toss program to 120 feet, and there is a chance he could begin throwing off a mound by early June. The right-hander is scheduled to be evaluated next week in Anaheim.
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