Author: D.J. Short

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 20:  Manager Mike Scioscia #14 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim takes the ball from pitcher Jered Weaver #36, taking him out of the game against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the sixth inning at O.co Coliseum on June 20, 2015 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

MRI shows no structural damage in Jered Weaver’s hip

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Angels right-hander Jered Weaver was placed on the 15-day disabled list over the weekend due to a left hip injury, but Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that an MRI revealed no structural damage.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said that Weaver is scheduled to be re-evaluated in five days, so he won’t pick up a baseball before then. There’s no clear timetable for his return, but the hope is that he could be ready after the All-Star break.

Weaver, 32, has allowed 19 runs over his last four starts and owns a disappointing 4.75 ERA over 15 starts overall this season. His average fastball velocity has fallen to 83.9 mph this season and his strikeout rate has dipped from 19.0 percent in 2014 to a career-low 12.2 percent in the process.

Don Mattingly says Andre Ethier will start in left field even after Carl Crawford returns

at Dodger Stadium on May 26, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
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Carl Crawford was the primary left fielder for the Dodgers prior to suffering a torn oblique in late April. Andre Ethier has returned to form during his absence, hitting .275 with nine home runs and an .840 OPS over 65 games coming into Monday’s action. It’s been enough for him to have the advantage in playing time upon Crawford’s return:

Crawford was batting .245/.260/.408 in 50 plate appearances prior to the injury. Mattingly told Plunkett tonight that the 33-year-old is probably 10 days away from playing in games. He’s expected to require a lengthy minor league rehab assignment after missing two months, so a return will likely happen after the All-Star break.

Phil Coke opts for free agency

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Phil Coke throws against the Milwaukee Brewers during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Saturday, May 2, 2015 in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks)
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Phil Coke’s brief stint with the Blue Jays is over, as Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports that the veteran reliever declined an optional assignment to Triple-A Buffalo and has opted for free agency instead.

Coke began this season with the Cubs after making the team out of spring training, but he was cut loose about a month ago after posting a 6.30 ERA over 16 appearances. The southpaw signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays a few days later and made three appearances at the Triple-A level before joining the major league bullpen last weekend. He allowed one run over 2 2/3 innings in two appearances with the club.

Coke doesn’t turn 33 until July and has enjoyed success against left-handed batters in his career, so it shouldn’t be long before he finds a new opportunity.

Former media director for Orem Owlz said he tried to get team to reconsider “Caucasian Heritage Night”

An owl
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News surfaced Friday afternoon that the Angels’ rookie league team — the Orem Owlz — had scheduled a promotion called “Caucasian Heritage Night.” It didn’t take long for the event to be canceled, albeit in a strange apology from the team.

In the wake of the controversy, it was reported that Joey Zanaboni had resigned as director of media and communications, which also included play-by-play duties for the team. With such an embarrassing situation, Zanaboni has since spoken out in an effort to clear his name. According to Joe Holleman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Zanaboni just started his job on June 6 and tried to get the promotion canceled:

“At first, honestly, I thought it was a joke, that they were pranking me,” Zanaboni said. “But then they sent me an actual printed schedule of promotions, and it was included.” The night was set for Aug. 10, he said.

“Not only did it offend me, but it was something I was sure would end up reflecting negatively on the team,” he said. “I talked to front-office people and even sent emails in an attempt to get them to reconsider.”

That obviously didn’t happen. In addition, Zanaboni said the release about canceling the event was made without his knowledge and he was told by the team to not make any further comment on the matter. This is when he made the decision to resign.

You can read his full statement here. Hopefully Zanaboni gets another opportunity somewhere soon.

Jose Altuve back in Astros’ lineup after missing four games with hamstring injury

TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 6:  Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros warms up during batting practice before the start of MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays on June 6, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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According to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is back in Monday’s lineup against the Angels after missing four games with a right hamstring injury.

Altuve initially tweaked his hamstring on June 12. He missed three games before returning last Tuesday, but had a setback one day later and hasn’t played since. The Astros were optimistic after watching him go through drills on Sunday and apparently he’s shown enough progress to return. They’ll have to hope that no more setbacks are in his future.

After a monster 2014, Altuve is batting .287/.328/.390 with five home runs, 28 RBI, and 17 steals over 63 games this season.