Jason Vargas had been a valuable part of the Angels' rotation, but in mid-June, a blood clot was discovered in the pitcher's armpit area and surgery was required.
Vargas will return to the Angels on Tuesday night against the Yankees, and although the left-hander won't solve all of their problems, they are excited to get him back.
"It's a big piece to get back, but you need more than just Jason," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "You need the opportunity to win games and have your starters give you a chance to win games on a daily basis. That's the depth that we need. Jason is one piece of that. Hopefully, he can pick up where he left off."
Vargas left off with a 6-4 record and a 3.65 ERA. Vargas notched a quality start in six of his last seven outings, and the Angels are 7-2 the last nine times he has taken the ball.
If the Angels are going to get another win in a game started by Vargas, they will have to figure out CC Sabathia.
The Yankees left-hander has faced the Angels once this season and limited them to two runs on five hits in eight innings.
Sabathia recently went through a troubling stretch in which he allowed 27 runs over four starts, but returned to form in his last outing.
Although the Yankees lost, Sabathia gave up three runs in 7 1/3 innings on Wednesday against the White Sox.
"Obviously, we want to win the game," Sabathia said after his last outing. "It's a tough situation, but, you know, hopefully this [good start] will help me out."
Yankees: Jeter progressing, but needs time
Derek Jeter is eligible to be activated from the disabled list when the Yankees travel to Boston, but the team believes it may be a bit longer than that before the captain is back on the field.
"He feels better," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He's not ready to do baseball activities yet, though."
Jeter, currently sidelined with a right calf strain, has been on the DL three times this season and has only played in five games.
"We weren't sure who we were going to get back first when it came to those two," Girardi said of Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. "Initially, we thought we were going to get Derek back after Spring Training and that didn't work. I'm not really sure I find it hard to believe that Alex has played more games than Derek or vice versa, but Derek came back first. It's been a strange year."
Angels: Trout in favor of lifetime ban for first PED offense
Mike Trout chooses his words carefully and stays away from controversial topics.
However, when it comes to performance-enhancing drugs, the 22-year-old had some strong words while being interviewed on WFAN's Boomer and Carton Show in New York on Monday.
"For me personally, I think you should be out of the game if you get caught," Trout said.
The Angels are in the middle of a series against the Yankees and Rodriguez, who is currently appealing his 211-game suspension.
"Some people are just trying to find that extra edge," Trout said. "It's tough. As a guy that goes out there and plays hard every day and puts 110 percent effort every time, and you wake up the next day and see there's a list of guys. But it's good that MLB caught 'em and they're moving in the right direction with suspensions and stuff."
• Rodriguez has only played in six games since rejoining the Yankees, but Scioscia knows the third baseman is dangerous in the batter's box.
"We saw video and I think the one thing we noticed is just that his bat speed is there," Scioscia said. "He's put some good swings on balls. I don't think anything past what we have to do to get him [out] and contain him. That's all we're focused on right now."
• Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos, currently playing with Triple-A Salt Lake on a rehab assignment, may be activated prior to Tuesday's game. Bourjos has been sidelined with a fractured right wrist.
William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.