Notes: Kotchman reveals illness

Notes: Kotchman reveals illness

DETROIT -- Casey Kotchman revealed that he has mononucleosis before Wednesday night's game.

The infielder, who has started 19 games at first base this season, wasn't in the lineup. Reporters had heard that he wasn't feeling well, and when he was asked about it, Kotchman said that he has been suffereing from mono for about seven months.

"It's been in and out," said Kotchman, who added that he has a really low energy level some days.

He says he was diagnosed with it in Spring Training and thinks he caught it when he spoke at an elementary school around the last part of November or early December.

"There's a couple of things we're watching with Kotchman," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "An issue here and there ... he's available, but he's not quite locked in."

After a torrid Spring Training at the plate, Kotchman has struggled since the regular season began. He's hitting .159 (11-for-69) with five RBIs. He only has two extra-base hits, both doubles. Kotchman has been frustrated by the fact that all he can do is ride the illness out.

"They told me there's no mediction fot it," he said, adding that he's been told that it can last anywhere from two months to a year.

New position for Kendrick: Replacing Kotchman at first on Monday night was rookie Howie Kendrick. One of the top hitting prospects in the Angels' system, Kendrick has been a second baseman. But with the way they have struggled offensively, Los Angeles is willing to lose a little defensively in order to get another potentially productive bat into the lineup.

"Right now, we're really looking for a little offense and it's a good chance for Howie ... If a guy is swinging the bat pretty well, there's a pretty good chance he'll play," said Scioscia.

Kendrick has also been working out at third base. Scioscia added that since he already plays on the right side of the infield at second base, Kendrick would at least be accustomed to the angle at which the ball comes off of the bat. Kotchman said that he would also give Kendrick all the help he could in playing the position.

More brawl fallout: The Angels awaited Major League Baseball's decisions on whether anyone would be suspended or how many would face suspensions because of the fracas with the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday.

The melee began in the top of the sixth with the bases loaded. Oakland catcher Jason Kendall charged Angels' pitcher John Lackey after Lackey yelled to him to get his elbow guard off the plate. Both players were ejected from the game.

Scioscia was highly upset that Lackey was ejected and the Los Angeles manager himself was ejected in the bottom of the ninth after Rob Quinlan was hit. Angels vice president and general manager Bill Stoneman also said he didn't think Lackey should have been ejected.

"It seems troubling to me that somebody says something and that provokes an on-field brawl ... that's unusual," Stoneman said. "If the guy doesn't run out there, nothing happens and most of the stadium and most of the guys out there would have never known anything happened."

He also said that he had already registered his opinion to someone in Major League Baseball's offices.

On Deck: The Angels end their short two-game series with the Tigers at 10:05 a.m. PT on Thursday. Los Angeles will send Kevin Gregg (1-0, 0.84 ERA) to the mound against Justin Verlander (3-2, 3.52 ERA). The team then heads to Toronto for a four-game series with the Blue Jays.

Paul Harris is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.