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Vlad Guerrero Injury Deepens Angel Woes

If it wasn’t for bad luck, the 2009 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim wouldn’t have any luck at all. The bad news just kept coming on Friday to a team that has seen the tragic death of a pitching prospect gloomily obscure some deep problems on the field.

All Star slugger Vladimir Guerrero was placed on the 15 Day Disabled List on Friday with a torn pectoral muscle. While Vlad can hit just fine, he still fancies himself a Right Fielder and cannot throw without pain. The Angels seem to be humoring him here, as a retiring to Designated Hitter might be in order anyway given Guerrero’s 35 years. For the time being the Angels will rotate a combination of Maicer Izturis and Gary Matthews. Light-Hitting Izturis started at Designated Hitter on Friday, going 0 for 5, but reached base on a dropped strikeout and scored a run, as well as contributing a groundout RBI.

But neither Matthews nor Izturis nor any Angel replaces Vlad when it comes to batting. Catcher Mike Napoli would make a good candidate to try at Designated hitter, with a  3rd catcher replacing Guerrero on the roster. All of this discussion would be moot if the Angels had already brought in Brandon Wood at the beginning of the seaosn, but Wood was sent down to the minors to slug it out while Izturis and Erick Aybar slapped little  singles  around the infield.

Meanwhile, Dustin Moseley, who has graduated from 6th man to 3rd man in the Angels rotation, left Friday night’s game with obvious pain in his elbow. Moseley had offseason surgery to repair the ulnar nerve in his pitching arm and appeared to be unable to move his elbow while leaving the dugout after the 3rd inning.

With pitchers John Lackey and Ervin Santana a month away and Kelvim Escobar dealt a shoulder-tightening setback in his return and now penciled for no earlier than June, the Angels can ill afford to lose Moseley for an extended period of time. Without Him, their rotation is Joe Saunders, Jered Weaver, journeyman Shane Loux, 38-year old reliever Darren Oliver on a 40-pitch limit and an open slot.

Open for who? Down at AAA Salt Lake City:

  • Starter Anthony Ortega has given up 7 Runs in 9.2 IP
  • Starter Matt Palmer has given up 10 runs in 7.2 IP

The AA Arkansas Travellers have seen:

  • Starting Pitcher Sean O’Sullivan surrendered 6 ER in 11.2 IP
  • SPJordan Walden give up 6 ER in 6.2 IP

AAA Reliever Rafael Rodriguez made his major league debut on April 15, but if he is the best the Angels minor leagues have to offer, a trade or free agent signing is in order here.

And all the while, Brandon Wood languishes in AAA with a 1.065 slugging and nowhere to fit in the crowded Angels lineup. Of course, if the first ten games of this Angels season are any indication, Wood may be First on the infield depth chart before June.