The Angels starter is old school. He's not the type to read his own press clippings. He's not one to believe the hype.
Haren has a job to do.
The veteran was scratched Saturday against New York after experiencing tightness in his lower back during a bullpen session in Kansas City on Wednesday. Fortunately for the Angels, he is feeling much better after throwing a 30-pitch bullpen session on Sunday and will be ready to pitch on Tuesday against the Rays.
"When it happened I thought I was going to be down for a while. It was pretty painful," Haren said. "I worked hard and the training staff got on me good. It's progressed every day."
What's more, Haren's streak of 214 consecutive starts, which dates back to 2005, remains intact.
"It's not really about any streak, it's just about getting out there," he said. "Baseball is the ultimate team sport. I do no good sitting here in the training room and sitting on the bench. I gotta be out there."
Haren might have help. Outfielder Vernon Wells could return to the lineup as soon as Tuesday after being out for more than three weeks. Wells hasn't played since straining his right groin during an at-bat against the White Sox on May 9.
Opposing Haren will be Alex Cobb, who will make his third Major League start and second against the Angels this season. Cobb had a no-decision on May 31 against the Rangers and had a problem tipping his pitches in his first start against the Angels. The pitching line was not pretty. Cobb gave up four runs on four hits in 4 1/3 innings in the outing.
He expects better results this time around.
"I feel a lot better than when I faced these guys the last time," Cobb said. "Every time I think I have learned something, something new comes up. I feel like I have learned a lot since being up here. [Tuesday] should be a good sample size of how far I have come since that first start."
Rays: Damon streaking into history
Johnny Damon has reached base safely in a career-high 32 straight games, the longest active streak in the Major Leagues. He is tied with Evan Longoria for the second-longest streak in Rays history.
Both Longoria and B.J. Upton had the flu and did not start Monday's game.Angels: Kendrick still getting in gear
Howard Kendrick went 0-for-3 Monday and is hitless in three games since returning from the disabled list. However, he is still hitting .430 (49-for-114) in career against Tampa Bay.
"Getting Kendrick back is one step towards that deeper lineup. Our lineup has to get deeper," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think our lineup's going to have a deeper look with much more versatility. We're going to be able to run the bases the way we need to."
Bobby Abreu of the Angels is hitting .429 in his last nine games to raise his batting average to .286.
Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo is riding an eight-game hitting streak. He's hitting .400 during that stretch.
With the 17th overall pick in Monday's Draft, the Angels selected University of Utah first baseman C.J. Cron.