Notes: Molina nearing return to field

Notes: Molina nearing return to field

NEW YORK -- Bengie Molina is making progress in his recovery from a right quadriceps strain and should be back on the field within the next 10 days.

The catcher was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 18 after sustaining the injury while advancing to third on a ground ball. Molina had doubled and eventually scored on a ground out by Chone Figgins in the Angels' 7-6 loss to the A's a day earlier, but did not return.

Molina has not resumed baseball activity, but has been jogging and taking swings off the batting tee and against the pitching machine. He agreed with Scioscia that the quad injury makes it tougher to play his position.

"It might be tougher because you're on your knees. That muscle is always getting stretched out," Molina said. "You need it for everything, so it is tough."

Molina battled a left calf strain through much of the Cactus League schedule this spring. A left calf strain sent Molina to the DL last season, and he's also battled hamstring problems. An injury to his left hamstring placed him on the DL in 2002, and a right hamstring strain put him on the shelf in 2001.

He admitted the process of being injured has become a source of frustration.

"I don't know how to put it into words," Molina said, who is with the club on their nine-game road trip. "I was trying to stay healthy, and I was doing everything I could."

The two-time Gold Glove award winner showed up this spring roughly 22 pounds lighter as part of his effort to keep himself from getting hurt. To this point, why Molina has had more than his share of injuries remains a bit of a mystery.

The club has kept a close eye on their starting catcher to monitor his conditioning, hydration and number of games in the lineup. Both Molina and his manager, though, remain confident he'll return without any further issues.

"Some guys maybe are more prone to injuries," manager Mike Scioscia said. "But I think he is going to go out there for a lot of games this year."

Molina is eligible to come off the DL on May 3, when the Angels are in Seattle at the end of the three-city trip. Scioscia said he'll be ready at about that time, but would only require a couple of days thereafter if need be.

On the farm: Adam Kennedy went 3-for-4 with two runs, an RBI and a stolen base in the Stingers' 18-8 win over the Beavers on Monday. The second baseman remains on schedule for an early May return from surgeries to repair a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee.

"The things we want to see Adam do is to play in a game and he is starting to do that," Scioscia said. "We are past the point where we are wondering how the knee is going to respond. We know how it is going to respond, and now we have to get him into his game."

Scioscia said he is encouraged that Kennedy is moving well in the field and is running the bases without hesitancy. The issue of his return boils down to conditioning.

"His confidence is high, and now he just has to get into shape so he can play in a Major League game," Scioscia said.

On the mend: Right-handed reliever Bret Prinz threw from the mound on Tuesday and experienced no pain in the 10-minute session. Prinz was placed on the 15-day DL on April 11 with a right shoulder strain.

On deck: The Angels will face the Yankees in the second game of the three-game set on Wednesday. Left-hander Jarrod Washburn will take on Yankees right-hander Mike Mussina at 4:05 p.m. PT.

Mike Scarr is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.