Notes: McPherson providing big 'D'

Notes: McPherson providing big 'D'

NEW YORK -- Dallas McPherson is in the big leagues for his offense, but if he can provide some solid defense along the way, all the better.

On Wednesday, McPherson started two double plays that figured prominently in the Angels' 5-1 win over the Yankees. The rookie third baseman also was on the receiving end of what he said was the hardest ball he's ever seen hit when Alex Rodriguez scorched a base hit to left that McPherson barely had time to get a glove on.

Regardless, McPherson felt he should have made a play on it, or at least knocked it down. But he said he's starting to get more comfortable at the position with each day that he's in the lineup.

"I've been feeling pretty good at third ever since I went down to Triple-A," McPherson said. "Hopefully I'll just keep building off it."

The 24-year-old was hitless in his first two games after being called up April 18, but he's hit in six of his last seven games, including doubles in each of the three games at Yankee Stadium.

McPherson has yet to hit a home run with the Angels this season, but said he's content to go the other way as most pitchers have been working the outer half of the plate. The bigger issue for him is making the adjustments to Major League pitching so he can develop his timing and worry about the homers later.

"I want to get on base and take my walks. I want to be a more consistent hitter," McPherson said. "What suits me best and what fits the team best is to square up and put the ball in play."

With no one in position to unseat McPherson at this point, third base is essentially his job to lose, but his play is raising the confidence level within the organization.

"His quality of at-bats has jumped up," manager Mike Scioscia said. "There are adjustments that every player has to go through and we need production from that position. The more he gets comfortable the better it is for us."

Cloud 9: David Matranga got the call he was waiting for Wednesday when the Angels pulled the infielder up from Triple-A Salt Lake to replace Maicer Izturis, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained MCL in his left knee.

Matranga said he was watching the Angels playing the Yankees on television with his wife, who was also surfing the Internet. Sarah saw a report that Izturis was hurt and they began to speculate who might be called up, but didn't think he would be included.

When Salt Lake manager Dino Ebel later called, Matranga didn't recognize the phone number and thought it was a friend. But disbelief was quickly replaced by excitement when he realized he was to join the Angels for the finale at Yankee Stadium

"It is an unbelievable feeling, shock. I've never been here," Matranga said. "To experience the history of this place is amazing."

Matranga had played in the New York/Penn League, but his trip to New York City was a first. It was also to be a quick one. After landing Wednesday, he went to the team hotel and then left immediately for the ballpark. The team charter was scheduled to leave for Minnesota after Thursday's game.

With Adam Kennedy and Bengie Molina set to return in early May, Matranga's time with the Angels figures to be short. But he plans to make the most of it.

"You just never know. I've seen so many weird things happen," Matranga said. "You try not to play manager, general manager. It's easy to get caught up in that, but I've been in this game long enough to know anything can happen. I figure I won't be here too long. I'll just try to help the team."

Matranga's previous Major League experience was brief. He was called up for one game in 2003 by the Astros to replace Julio Lugo, and later that season was called up briefly for Jeff Kent.

"I didn't even make it out of the pot that time," Matranga said of his proverbial cup of coffee. "It was still brewing."

Matranga will be called on mostly to pinch-run, but he can also play second, third and short and some outfield.

Trainer's room: Matt Hensley is scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery to repair a small tear in his right shoulder at the Kerlan-Jobe clinic in Los Angeles on May 3. Team orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum will perform the surgery.

Hensley was moved from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL on Wednesday to make room on the 40-man roster for Matranga.

Progress: Bret Prinz threw from the mound Thursday, his second bullpen session since going on the 15-day DL with a right shoulder strain April 11. Scioscia said the reliever could be headed to Arizona for extended Spring Training as early as the weekend.

On deck: The Angels will travel west to Minnesota for the middle leg of their three-city trip. On Friday, right-hander Paul Byrd will face Twins right-hander Carlos Silva at 5:10 p.m. PT in the first of a three-game series.

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