Notes: Guerrero might return to right
Angels slugger has been at DH because of arm injury
BOSTON -- Vladimir Guerrero gave himself passing grades after testing his right arm thoroughly in a workout on Thursday at Fenway Park, indicating he's ready to return to right field for the first time in a month.Manager Mike Scioscia, however, said he would wait until Friday before Game 2 of the American League Division Series to determine how Guerrero's right triceps inflammation responds to the stress. "Probably I can play right field," Guerrero said through the translation of broadcaster Jose Mota. "There's no pain. It's gone. If I had any pain now, I probably wouldn't go back to the outfield." Guerrero has been serving as the team's designated hitter since Sept. 6. His preference is to play in the field, with Chone Figgins returning to center field. That's also Scioscia's preference, enabling him to go one of three ways with the DH role: Reggie Willits, Kendry Morales or Juan Rivera. "Reggie works counts, Morales is swinging the bat well against right-handers and Juan can give us some power," Scioscia said, outlining the candidates. He added that Game 2 Boston starter Daisuke Matsuzaka is not significantly tougher on right-handers, enhancing Rivera's chances. Guerrero said his comfort in the outfield over acting as DH goes back to his days in Montreal, when he burst on the Major League scene as one of the game's greatest players. "I spent so much time in the National League, playing right field, it feels like home," Vlad said. "But I've spent so much time as a DH [this season], I'm comfortable there, too. Getting back to right field is not going to make it or break it." Whether he needs his glove or not, Guerrero will face Dice-K with the same approach he takes to every at-bat. "I always swing hard," he said, "and I'll continue to swing hard." Guerrero added that he feels no undue pressure to carry an offense that doesn't match up with Boston's in the power department. "No pressure at all," he said. "I go back and base it on the way we've played all season. If we go back and play our game, we'll be all right."
Anderson plans to play: Even though his right eye remains afflicted with conjunctivitis and is close to closed, Garret Anderson intends to be in left field and in the No. 4 spot in the order for Game 2.Anderson was hitless in four at-bats in Game 1, but he attributed that more to Josh Beckett's moving fastball and offspeed stuff than to the condition of his eye.
"It doesn't matter how many eyes you've got," he said. "If you've got a guy pitching on the corners, there's not much you can do."Scioscia indicated that Anderson will remain in the lineup until he tells the manager he can't play. "I think it looks a lot worse than it is," Scioscia said. "Garret assures us his vision's there; he's seeing the ball. And that is what's important. I don't think the eye was affecting him on the field. It wasn't just Garret; we didn't get too many good looks at [Beckett], too many good swings." Anderson carried the offense at times in the second half, batting .305 with 13 homers and 65 RBIs in 67 games after the All-Star break. "He's a guy that's swung the bat as well as anybody in baseball the last 200, 300 at-bats," Scioscia said. "We need him to contribute. He's told us he'll be honest with us, and we believe him. Garret knows when he can play and can't play."
Hatcher optimistic: Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher was as upbeat as ever on Thursday, despite the way his athletes were treated by Beckett in Game 1.
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"That guy just wouldn't let us do anything," Hatcher said. "Our guys have been able to turn the page. What we liked was the way our guys handled themselves during the game. You could see them on the [dugout] rails, pulling for each other."If our guys had been hanging their heads, we'd have been disappointed. Our guys are banged up, but they give no excuses. They're going to go out and play no matter what. The guys are into it. We know they're going to give their best effort [in Game 2]. That's what I love about these guys. "If they can get on a roll, they're going to be fantastic. We've got to play our game and manufacture some runs. We had that opportunity in the first inning, but their guy didn't give us any more opportunities." Up next: Kelvim Escobar (18-7, 3.40) gets the ball Friday against Matsuzaka (15-12, 4.40) in Game 2, a matchup of right-handers with a wide variety of pitches. First pitch is at 5:37 p.m. PT.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.