Torii Hunter, Vladimir Guerrero go on the 15-day disabled list
The injuries that sent Torii Hunter and Vladimir Guerrero to the 15-day disabled list Friday could sideline the two outfielders for a month, leaving a huge void in the middle of the lineup.
“We’re looking at possibly three to four weeks for both players,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “The injuries are significant. They’re not little 10-day things. It’s going to take a little more time.”
Hunter’s injury -- an adductor strain on his right side -- cost the center fielder a spot on the American League All-Star team. He was replaced for Tuesday’s game in St. Louis by Texas’ Nelson Cruz, who had the next-highest number of outfield votes from players, coaches and managers.
“I really wanted to go to the All-Star game,” Hunter said. “All those fans voted for me. I’m from Arkansas, and the Cardinals mean everything to people there. I had friends and family members going. I hate that I won’t be there. I may have to stay here for treatment.”
Guerrero suffered a strained muscle behind his left knee and a lower hamstring strain while fielding a ball in right field against the Rangers on Tuesday.
Guerrero’s loss won’t be as acute as Hunter’s. Guerrero, who earlier in the season was on the DL because of a torn chest muscle, has been limited to 46 games and is hitting .290 with four homers and 21 runs batted in. Though he bats cleanup, he had little to do with the Angels’ offensive surge in the last month.
Hunter will be far more difficult to replace. He is batting .305 with a team-leading 17 homers and 65 RBIs and has made several spectacular defensive plays, one of which eventually sidelined him.
Hunter originally injured his groin area crashing into the Dodger Stadium wall to make a catch on May 24. He aggravated the injury slamming into the wall on June 15 in San Francisco while trying to catch a ball in a game the Angels were leading 8-0.
That might be the last time Hunter, an eight-time Gold Glove Award winner who turns 34 next week, crashes into a wall with a huge lead.
“It’s hard to accept the DL -- it’s not in my DNA to sit out,” said Hunter, who hasn’t been on the DL since 2006. “But I think I hit one too many walls. . . . I may try to calm it down a bit and play the game a little smarter than that so I can be on the field for my teammates.”
To replace Hunter and Guerrero on the roster, the Angels recalled infielder Brandon Wood and catcher Bobby Wilson from triple-A Salt Lake.
The Angels started an outfield of Juan Rivera in left, Gary Matthews Jr. in center and Bobby Abreu in right Friday night against the Yankees.
The addition of a third catcher enables Scioscia to more easily use catcher Mike Napoli in the designated hitter spot, where Napoli started Friday. There is a chance third baseman Chone Figgins could move to the outfield to clear third for Wood.
“We’re going to have to get a little creative at first, see what lineup forms,” Scioscia said. “We’ll see what can give us a spark on a given night.”
Kelvim Escobar, who has suffered numerous setbacks in his recovery from shoulder surgery, passed a strength test Friday and expects to be cleared to resume throwing soon. Does he think he’ll pitch this year? “I think so,” he said. “I’m trying to stay positive.” . . . Triple-A reliever Rudy Seanez was placed on the DL because of a right abdominal strain, making it highly unlikely the 40-year-old right-hander will help the Angels this year.