Mathis on track to rejoin Angels this weekend

Mathis on track to rejoin Angels this weekend

ANAHEIM -- Jeff Mathis is scheduled to play in an eighth rehab game for Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday night and then play one more game Wednesday night before potentially rejoining the Angels for a three-game series with the Cubs that starts Friday in Chicago.

"He played last night and felt really good," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Depending on how he comes out of the night, he'll probably play a little tomorrow just to get in touch with playing three straight games. If he comes out of that well, he should be available to join us in Chicago."

Mathis went on the disabled list with a fractured wrist in April but took a ball off his right thumb on Friday. He's batting .259 with Salt Lake and went 2-for-3 with a double, a triple, two RBIs and a walk on Monday night. When Mathis returns, the Angels plan to test out a lineup with him behind the plate and Mike Napoli at first base, but Scioscia did not commit to that as a permanent solution.

"Jeff catching is definitely going to give us an option to see Mike at first base," Scioscia said. "I'm not going to say every time Jeff catches you're going to see Mike at first base, but that will be a lineup we will see at some point."

Scioscia said the pitching staff has done fine with Napoli receiving, but also said Mathis brings "a presence" behind the plate.

Kevin Frandsen started at first base Tuesday for a second straight game, a day after his wide throw in the seventh inning may have contributed to shortstop Erick Aybar's injury. Frandsen is batting .360 in 50 at-bats and went 1-for-4 with a double Monday that drove in the Angels' only runs in a 12-2 loss to the Brewers.

Scioscia said he ran Frandsen back out there because of his bat rather than a chance at redemption.

"I think that he's played enough first base he should be fine," Scioscia said. "That throw wasn't the best, but I don't think that's the reason why we're playing him today. We're playing him today because we think he can contribute on the offensive side."