Notes: Salmon won't play in '05

Notes: Salmon won't play in '05

SEATTLE -- The Angels remained hopeful that Tim Salmon would return this season, but that's not going to happen.

Manager Mike Scioscia confirmed Saturday that Salmon's progress after a pair of surgeries -- one on his left knee and another to repair a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder -- is not moving quickly enough for the longtime Angel to make it back in September.

"He's not an option this year," Scioscia said.

Salmon has been rehabbing in Arizona and began to take dry swings in June, but he stopped after his shoulder began to hurt. He has since resumed swinging from the batting tee and has been experiencing irritation in his knee.

Being 37 and recovering from two surgeries makes Salmon's return a long shot, but Scioscia would welcome him back.

"Absolutely," Scioscia said. "I think he is a special guy. If his body is able to do it and he still has some life in his bat to be productive. Obviously, it is contingent on some serious issues."

Salmon appeared in 60 games for the Angels last season, hitting .253 with seven doubles, two homers and 23 RBIs.

Figgitility: Chone Figgins has seemingly been everywhere with the Angels this season, and it's hard to imagine what the club would do without him.

On Saturday, he started in center field a day after playing third. Figgins has started at six positions for the Angels this season, but by no means can he be called a bench player or a reserve, and even utility doesn't quite sum it up.

"There is no 'bench' in the description of Figgy," Scioscia said.

Figgins appeared in his team-leading 113th game and scored his 80th run on an RBI single by Vladimir Guerrero in the first inning Saturday, which also is tops on the Angels. In his second at-bat, he drilled his sixth homer.

Figgins and his ability to play multiple positions at a high level allows the Angels to carry three catchers, something Scioscia prefers.

"You can talk about Vlad being the cornerstone with his bat, but I'd hate to think where we would be without Figgy," Scioscia said.

Nicked: Dallas McPherson tweaked his back Thursday and will be evaluated Monday in Los Angeles, Scioscia said.

Back home: Hitting coach Mickey Hatcher is away from the Angels for the weekend as he attends to a personal matter, but he's scheduled to return to the club Monday, when the Angels open a seven-game homestand. Roving Minor League hitting instructor Ty Van Burkleo is with the team in Hatcher's absence.

Day off: Steve Finley was on the bench Saturday with Figgins in center. Since returning to the lineup Tuesday in Oakland, Finley has gone 2-for-17. The Angels would prefer that he remain a regular, but they also recognize the need for run producers.

"Our best lineup is Steve Finley playing outstanding center field and bringing a productive bat," Scioscia said. "That is our best lineup."

Finley worked with Hatcher on swing and vision drills over the past weekend, but he's had mixed results. Part of the problem is playing time.

"It is a catch-22," Scioscia said. "He needs at-bats to be productive, but he needs to be productive to get at-bats."

Mileage: Guerrero hit a pair of upper-deck homers Friday, becoming the first player to do so in one game at Safeco Field. The blasts traveled a combined 865 feet and helped the Angels win, 9-4, but some thought of other uses for the distance.

"I wish we could break that up into about 40 singles," Scioscia joked.

On deck: The Angels will play the series finale with the Mariners on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. PT to conclude their six-game road trip. Right-hander John Lackey will face Seattle right-hander Gil Meche.

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