ANAHEIM -- Joel Pineiro is to pitch for the Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in a 5:05 p.m. PT start in Lake Elsinore on Sunday in the California League playoffs. Pineiro has been on the disabled list since the end of July with a strained left oblique, and if all goes well, he's to return to the rotation this week, likely against Tampa Bay.
The Quakes dropped the first game of the best-of-five, second-round series with the Lake Elsinore Storm, a Padres affiliate, 5-0, on Saturday. Another rehabbing starter, Chris Young, threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings for Lake Elsinore.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said that Trevor Bell's eventual role, be it as a reliever or starter, has yet to be determined. Bell is to leave the rotation upon Pineiro's return, and has gone 2-5 with a 4.72 ERA in 25 games, seven of them starts.
"He has the upside to being a real good Major League starter," Scioscia said. "We'll see how things evolve as far as the makeup of our team."
Scot Shields is unavailable for a fourth straight game after he left Tuesday night's contest with stiffness in his right (throwing) elbow. He has not gone for tests but the Angels feel the injury is not serious.
Conger, Trumbo look back on Angels debuts
ANAHEIM -- Saturday's 7-4 Angels win over the Mariners didn't end up being a blowout, but it looked like it would be when Torii Hunter's double made it 7-0 in the seventh inning. And it was enough of a lead that Halos manager Mike Scioscia thought it an appropriate time to get Hank Conger and Mark Trumbo, both September callups, their Major League debuts.
Since they arrived on Tuesday, Conger and Trumbo both had family at the game every night, waiting for them to take the field for the first time. Conger, a 22-year-old catcher, and Trumbo, a 24-year-old outfielder, both grew up in Southern California.
"They've come every game so far," Trumbo said. "My parents and family friends, a lot of my friends too, they've been coming. About 20 people."
Conger was catching in the bullpen when he was told he might get a chance to hit.
"It felt like Spring Training, where they'll be like, 'Hey, you're hitting next,'" Conger said. "I ran from the bullpen onto the field. They were like, 'Hey, if Torii gets a double here ...'" The result for both wasn't what they had hoped for, and both felt more nervous than they had anticipated.
"I think I did it right, I was obviously pretty nervous," said Trumbo, who stayed in the game to play first base. "You kind of anticipate and picture what it'll be like, but you really can't. It wasn't what I was picturing. But it was awesome nonetheless."
"It hit me when I walked up to the plate," Conger said. "It was everything I hoped for except for the strikeout."
Neither player was in the lineup on Sunday. Scioscia said they will start at some point, and that part of the reason Conger hasn't is because the starting pitchers have been throwing very well to catchers they're familiar with.
Angels need only tweaking for 2011
ANAHEIM -- Manager Mike Scioscia said the Angels need only tweaking, not an overhaul for next season, but did not want to talk about 2011 in depth.
"We're not talking about next year," Scioscia said. "We've obviously got a challenge in front of us to play good baseball here down to the end of the year, and we'll make those other decisions at the appropriate time."
Scioscia did say that the return of some missing pieces from this season, none bigger than Kendry Morales, would provide a boost. He did not directly address the potential return of free agent Hideki Matsui.
"When you look at Kendry and you look at Maicer [Izturis], we added [Alberto] Callaspo, we'll have him moving forward in whatever role that develops into. A little more experience for guys like [Erick] Aybar, [Howard] Kendrick. Peter Bourjos obviously getting a chance to play, hopefully developing."
Seattle's Felix Hernandez regained the strikeout lead in the Majors on Sunday, a day after the Angels' Jered Weaver took it over. Weaver has 211 and Hernandez has 214. ... A win Sunday would give the Angels 15 wins against Seattle in a single season for the first time in club history. The Angels haven't dropped a season series to Seattle since 2003. ... Patrick White, a two-time Angels Draft pick who was selected as high as the fourth round, has signed with the Kansas City Royals. White was cut by the Miami Dolphins during the NFL preseason.
Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.