Notes: Rodriguez on schedule

Notes: Rodriguez on schedule

ANAHEIM -- Francisco Rodriguez should be back in the bullpen by next week.

The closer is currently on the 15-day disabled list with a right forearm strain, but is progressing through his throwing routine and remains on target. Rodriguez threw from flat ground Thursday and will throw his first bullpen session in a week at Angel Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

If Rodriguez continues to not experience any tightness in the area, he'll throw a simulated game at Rancho Cucamonga on Monday and fly to Chicago that night where he'll join the Angels on the first stop of a four-city road trip. The club hopes to activate him for the series finale with the White Sox on Wednesday.

"We want him to see some hitters before we activate him," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's been fine for a couple of days as far as stiffness goes, but we want to get him in a throwing progression. Hopefully he'll be symptom free."

Rodriguez will slide back into the closer's role when he returns, but will not likely make more than two consecutive appearances, at least not initially. Scioscia said Scot Shields, who has converted four save opportunities in Rodriguez's absence and has six on the year, will remain a possibility.

"We have more than one guy that will close for us," Scioscia said. "That is the way we set it up."

Set to go: Kelvim Escobar is ready to come off the DL and will start against the Royals on Saturday. The right-hander went on the DL for the second time this season on May 12, when a bone spur caused inflammation in his right elbow.

Escobar last threw a bullpen on Wednesday and played long toss Thursday and said he is feeling no pain.

"I feel pretty good," Escobar said. "It will be a test for me tomorrow. We'll see how I do."

Moving along: Vladimir Guerrero has not begun any baseball-related activity during his rehab from a partially dislocated left shoulder, but Scioscia said he is progressing well.

"His range of motion and his therapy and his weight work are good," Scioscia said. "We are very encouraged."

Scioscia said there is no timetable for Guerrero, but the initial 2-3 week period still holds. Guerrero suffered the injury while sliding into home at Dodger Stadium on May 20.

Down for promotion: After making the jump from Double-A and starting two games for the Angels, Ervin Santana will head to Triple-A Salt Lake and start for the Stingers at Sacramento.

The young right-hander made a positive impression by going 1-1 and posting a 4.15 ERA that included a complete-game shutout for his first big league win. Santana was 5-1 with a 2.31 ERA in seven starts at Arkansas.

Weaver to get action: Jered Weaver will start a simulated game for the Camden Riversharks of the independent Atlantic League on Saturday and could make an appearance next week, his agent Scott Boras said.

The Angels selected Weaver with their first pick in the draft last year, but have been unable to come to terms with the 6-foot-7 right-hander.

Morales watch: Through six games at Class A Rancho Cucamonga, Kendry Morales is hitting .385 with two doubles, two homers and six RBIs.

On deck: The Angels will host the Royals for the second game of the three-game series on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. PT. Escobar will face Kansas City right-hander Ryan Jensen.

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