Moseley, Saunders will be on display
BY DOUG PADILLA, Staff Writer
ANAHEIM - If the Angels intend to put together a trade package for a proven slugger, the next two nights could help their chances.
If rookie pitchers Dustin Moseley and Joe Saunders come up with solid starts over the the next two games, it could give the Angels added currency to swing a deal.
Moseley will make his major- league debut tonight in place of another rookie, Jered Weaver, who is experiencing biceps tendinitis. Weaver did not go on the disabled list but is having a start skipped in order to relieve soreness.
Saunders is expected to be recalled for Tuesday's game and take Moseley's place on the roster.
Saunders will pitch in place of Kelvim Escobar, who did go on the disabled list over the weekend with elbow tendinitis.
The non-waiver trade deadline is just two weeks away, and the Toronto Blue Jays are itching for starting pitching. With Gustavo Chacin out until some time in August, the Blue Jays need a fifth starter.
The Blue Jays don't care to break up the heart of an offense that has carried them within striking distance of the Boston Red Sox in a tough American League East, but indications are that they might be desperate enough to do it.
Shea Hillenbrand is a free agent after this season and Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi already is looking toward next season's budget. Hillenbrand is making $5.8 million and will improve on that as a free agent.
"We've got some guys that we may not be able to bring back from a financial standpoint," Ricciardi said last week. "If we don't think we can fit someone in the budget, then that would be a guy that we'd be willing to trade."
The Blue Jays would prefer a proven starter over a young guy like Moseley or Saunders, but trade options have been limited. Toronto has about $2 million to work with in its budget.
In addition to a young pitcher, the Angels might be
willing to part with another free-agent-to-be, Adam Kennedy, in a package for a hitter, but the Blue Jays are likely to prefer Howie Kendrick.
As of Sunday, Hillenbrand was batting .301 with 12 home runs and 39 RBIs. He can play both third and first base.
Moseley showing growth: Moseley, who was acquired after the 2004 season when Ramon Ortiz was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, has shown a steady improvement in the Angels organization.
"My command has improved (and) just my ability to slow the game down and think a little more out there," the 24-year old said. "I'm getting older with a little more time under my belt."
Moseley didn't pitch after July23 last season because of a sore shoulder. It ended up being a blessing.
"When I got hurt last year and rehabbed in Arizona, I just learned some things about my delivery and different things that helped my arm, and it's actually helped me throw more strikes this year," he said.
Aybar going to Salt Lake: Erick Aybar was optioned to Salt Lake after Sunday's game to make room on the roster for Moseley. Manager Mike Scioscia said Aybar was selected instead of Kendrick because there will be more playing options for Kendrick in the coming weeks.
Dizziness shelves Kotchman: Casey Kotchman experienced a bout of dizziness and will stop his rehab assignment at Salt Lake. Kotchman will return to Anaheim to be examined by team doctors. Kotchman has been on the disabled list since May 9 because of the effects of mononucleosis.