Mathis on track to rejoin Angels this weekend
Catcher's return likely to give Napoli more time at first
ANAHEIM -- Jeff Mathis is scheduled to play in an eighth rehab game for Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday night and then play one more game Wednesday night before potentially rejoining the Angels for a three-game series with the Cubs that starts Friday in Chicago.
"He played last night and felt really good," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Depending on how he comes out of the night, he'll probably play a little tomorrow just to get in touch with playing three straight games. If he comes out of that well, he should be available to join us in Chicago."
Mathis went on the disabled list with a fractured wrist in April but took a ball off his right thumb on Friday. He's batting .259 with Salt Lake and went 2-for-3 with a double, a triple, two RBIs and a walk on Monday night. When Mathis returns, the Angels plan to test out a lineup with him behind the plate and Mike Napoli at first base, but Scioscia did not commit to that as a permanent solution.
"Jeff catching is definitely going to give us an option to see Mike at first base," Scioscia said. "I'm not going to say every time Jeff catches you're going to see Mike at first base, but that will be a lineup we will see at some point."
Scioscia said the pitching staff has done fine with Napoli receiving, but also said Mathis brings "a presence" behind the plate.
Kevin Frandsen started at first base Tuesday for a second straight game, a day after his wide throw in the seventh inning may have contributed to shortstop Erick Aybar's injury. Frandsen is batting .360 in 50 at-bats and went 1-for-4 with a double Monday that drove in the Angels' only runs in a 12-2 loss to the Brewers.
Scioscia said he ran Frandsen back out there because of his bat rather than a chance at redemption.
"I think that he's played enough first base he should be fine," Scioscia said. "That throw wasn't the best, but I don't think that's the reason why we're playing him today. We're playing him today because we think he can contribute on the offensive side."
Halos activate Wood, option R. Rodriguez
ANAHEIM -- Brandon Wood was activated from the disabled list and was in the Angels' lineup at third base batting ninth Tuesday. Reliever Rafael Rodriguez was sent to Triple-A Salt Lake after being called up to the team on Saturday when Jason Bulger went on the DL.
Manager Mike Scioscia said Wood could also see time at first base and shortstop as the Angels deal with the indefinite absence of Erick Aybar, who was hurt on a play at second base Tuesday night.
Wood, who was listed on the DL with a hip flexor strain, hasn't played since May 23 and was batting .156 with two home runs and seven RBIs in 122 at-bats. He played in 13 rehab games for Salt Lake and didn't fare much better there, hitting .196 with one home run and two RBIs. He had 17 strikeouts and three walks.
Scioscia used the term "secondary role" to describe what Wood could be headed for.
"You're always trying to play for at-bats and play for playing time," Scioscia said. "If you're not performing and not achieving, you look at a secondary role. So we'll see where Brandon is and how much he's contributing both on the offensive and defensive end and see what he needs to do."
Wood said Scioscia had not discussed his role with him of late, but he understands his production needs to increase.
"I'm trying to get back into a groove and get my swing back where it needs to be," Wood said. "You got to hit to be in the lineup every day." Wood made a mechanical change while rehabbing, bringing his hands lower in his stance.
Rodriguez made one appearance Monday night, throwing two innings and allowing one run on one hit and two walks. He struck out two.
"Right now we have an off-day on Thursday, so hopefully we can get through the next couple days with 11 pitchers instead of 12," said Scioscia, who added Rodriguez would not have been available Tuesday night.
"Sometimes it happens, like last year, I got called up like seven times last year," Rodriguez said. "Just be ready when they need me."
Halos All-Star voting now online only
ANAHEIM -- In-stadium voting for the 2010 All-Star Game -- hosted here on July 13 -- ended at Angel Stadium on Tuesday, but fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites using the 2010 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot sponsored by Sprint until July 1 at 8:59 p.m. PT.
Starting rosters will be announced on July 4 during the 2010 All-Star Game Selection Show on TBS. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by Sprint.
Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.