SEATTLE -- Veteran relievers Jason Bulger and Brian Stokes were the first of the Sept. 1 callups by the Angels, both rejoining the club after going through rehab at Triple-A Salt Lake for lingering shoulder problems. Bulger has appeared in 22 games this season, Stokes 15.
"I'm excited to get back out there and step on a Major League rubber," said Bulger, a durable and valuable member of the 2009 Angels bullpen who has been on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain since June 11. "The adrenaline will be pumping. I can't wait."
Stokes, acquired over the winter from the Mets for Gary Matthews Jr., has been making his recovery virtually side by side with Bulger, going through many of the same exercises and drills. Stokes has been sidelined since May 10 with right shoulder fatigue.
"The ball's coming out of my hand good, no discomfort," Stokes said. "I did what I needed to do to get healthy, and I'm ready to go. I wanted to prove I could go back-to-back, multiple innings. I've done that. I hate missing all that time, but I can't be too hard on myself. It was an injury. I'm going to go back out 100 percent and show what I can do at this level."
Bulger and Stokes are close friends, and that helped in the rehab process.
"It's frustrating being on the DL," Bulger said. "Stokes is a buddy of mine, and we had a lot of talks back and forth, trying to help each other out."