The Angels plan to call up right-hander Trevor Bell from triple-A Salt Lake to start Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays after Joe Saunders went on the 15-day disabled list, Manager Mike Scioscia said Monday.
Bell, a 22-year-old Crescenta Valley High graduate, has been working his way up through the Angels' farm system since 2005, when he was the team's first draft pick.
He would start the final game of the Angels' three-game series with the Rays at Angel Stadium. The left-handed Saunders is suffering from tightness in his throwing shoulder.
A North Hollywood native, Bell is 3-4 in 11 starts at Salt Lake with a 3.15 earned-run average.
"Trevor's shown the command and stuff that we hope he can do at least, or maybe more, than some guys who are options" elsewhere on the team, Scioscia said before Monday's game against the Rays.
Scioscia said Bell also was tapped because it wouldn't disrupt the Angels' bullpen.
"That would keep a little more depth in our pen. It's a time in the season where I think he's ready," Scioscia said of Bell, adding that he was "the best option if you look at the whole staff and where we are."
Scioscia added that the Angels would have to make another personnel move in the next two days to make room for Bell on the team's 40-man roster.
Asked whether Bell's spot in the rotation would be reevaluated after Wednesday, Scioscia said "No, it will definitely be more than one shot."
Angels center fielder Torii Hunter was scheduled to start his minor league rehabilitation stint today with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, Scioscia said. Hunter has been on the disabled list since July 8 because of a muscle strain on his inner right thigh.
On Monday, Scioscia said, "Torii had a great workout today, running, played defense, hit and if he comes out OK, which we anticipate, he'll start a rehab assignment tomorrow."
Hunter and the Angels hope the rehab is brief.
"We'll see if he's going to be ready over the weekend and can go to Baltimore," where the Angels start a four-game series with the Orioles on Friday, Scioscia said.
But it's unlikely that Hunter's timing in the batter's box will immediately be back to normal, Scioscia cautioned.
"This is just to make sure all the parts are working, that he's healthy," he said. "You can go down there and have great timing for 12 at-bats in the minor leagues. You come here and your timing is going to be off, doesn't matter, you're seeing major league pitching."
Carl Crawford, who was the AL's stolen-base leader going into Monday's game, in fact, stole his 53rd base against Napoli in the first inning and then scored to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead.
"Our pitchers are going to have to give us time and we're going to have to make good throws" if the Rays try to steal, Napoli said. The Rays "are aggressive like we are. We know the type of baseball they play because we're similar on the bases."
But Napoli said he and Mathis try not to press just because they're playing Tampa Bay.
"You can't try to be quicker than what you can be or you run into problems," Napoli said. "You've got to stay the same with a nice smooth transfer and a throw on the money."
VS. TAMPA BAY
Where: Angel Stadium.
On the air: TV: FS West; Radio 830, 980, 1330.
Update: Santana hopes to improve on his last start, when he gave up four runs in six innings against the Chicago White Sox but still earned his third win in his last four decisions. The right-hander lost his one previous start against the Rays, in June. Price, a 23-year-old rookie, started that game against Santana but left with no decision, and the left-hander will be making his second start against the Angels.
-- Jim Peltz