Reporting from Arlington, Texas
Scott Kazmir's return to the Angels was a short one Monday, with the left-hander spending just enough time in Arlington to break a light sweat before packing his duffle bag and flying to Arizona to pitch in an extended spring-training game Tuesday.
After a disastrous performance in his first outing this season, Kazmir was put on the disabled list with what was reported to be a lower-back issue and sent home to Houston to smooth out some issues with his delivery.
Among the things Kazmir did was study tape with a former mentor, Ron Wolforth, at Wolforth's Texas Baseball Ranch.
"He had a lot of video of me when I was in high school and throughout the years," Kazmir said.
Asked whether they found anything, Kazmir said "there was a lot of stuff throughout the three or four years that we just pinpointed and kind of started trying to get back to.
"But it's a matter of me going out there. That's why I want to hurry up and get there and get into a game and apply all that. Hopefully, I'm going to go out there free and easy and go have fun."
Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said he expects Kazmir to pitch at least twice in Arizona before deciding whether to schedule him for a minor league rehab start.
Also, right-hander Joel Pineiro, who opened the season on the DL because of shoulder tightness, is expected to pitch in an extended spring-training game Wednesday. And infielder Erick Aybar could be back in the Angels' lineup before the team leaves Texas after playing six innings at shortstop in a triple-A game Monday.
Aybar, who played three games with the Angels before going on the DL because of a strained muscle in his left ribcage, batted leadoff for triple-A Salt Lake and was one for four, scoring a run and committing a throwing error.
Haren is recognized
Right-hander Dan Haren was selected the American League player of the week for the first time in his All-Star career.
Haren was 2-0 with 14 strikeouts in 151/3 innings last week, holding opponents to a .148 batting average. One of his victories was a one-hit shutout of the Cleveland Indians. Haren shares the award with Tampa Bay's Johnny Damon, who hit .375 in 24 at-bats with two home runs, four runs and 11 runs batted in.
Haren and teammate Jered Weaver share the major league lead with 4-0 records. Haren's 31 innings was the best in baseball and his 1.16 earned-run average was second best through Sunday. Haren and Weaver are the first teammates to win four times each in their team's first 15 games since Dizzy Trout and Al Benton with the Detroit Tigers in 1935.
Virus weakens Downs
Reliever Scott Downs made two visits over the weekend to the emergency room of a Chicago hospital, the result of what he said was a severe stomach virus.
"I couldn't eat anything, couldn't keep anything down," said Downs, who lost seven pounds.
Downs did not fly with the Angels to Texas, spending Sunday night in a Chicago hotel before taking a commercial flight to Dallas on Monday morning.
The left-hander, who was given fluids intravenously to treat dehydration, rode a stationary bike and played catch Monday but was too weak to pitch.