Notes: New faces added to roster

Notes: New faces added to roster

DETROIT -- Two players who began the previous day in the Minors were in the starting lineup and making their Major League debuts in Thursday afternoon's game against the Detroit Tigers.

They were catcher Mike Napoli and center fielder Tommy Murphy. Napoli was brought up from Triple-A Salt Lake when fellow catcher Jeff Mathis was optioned to Salt Lake after Wednesday night's game.

Napoli was told he was being called up when he arrived at the ballpark in Salt Lake City at around 2:30 p.m. MT. He caught a flight to Detroit at 7 p.m. and arrived at about 2 a.m. ET. Naturally, he didn't sleep much.

"I was pretty hyped up," Napoli said. "It was hard for me to go to sleep."

He said he probably managed a couple of hours or so of slumber. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Napoli has really developed defensively.

"He's catching well. He's really progressed in the last couple of years," Scioscia said. "He's a good receiver."

Napoli was hitting .244 at Salt Lake with three home runs and 10 RBIs in 21 games.

Murphy was called up from Salt Lake on Thursday morning to replace right-hander Chris Bootcheck on the active roster. Bootcheck was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 3, with a strained left hamstring. He suffered the injury while running from the bullpen to the mound during the melee with the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday. Murphy was hitting .352 at Salt Lake with two home runs and 14 RBIs in 24 games.

"We're getting some young guys in there who have played well in the Minors," said Scioscia.

Erstad still out: Darrin Erstad sat out his fourth-straight game because of a sore right ankle. In Spring Training, he missed eight days because of bone spurs in the same ankle.

"Just taking it day-bay-day," Erstad said. He added that he's taking cortisone shots for it. "I've had pretty good success with it [cortisone]" he said. "Hopefully, it follows the same pattern."

The Angels especially miss his presence in the lineup because of the team-wide hitting slump they find themselves in. And even before his injury, Erstad hadn't been swinging the bat well. He's hitting .238, with no home runs, four RBIs and only a .279 on-base percentage.

Dealing with losing streak: Wednesday night's loss to Detroit was the Angels' sixth in a row. It's their first six-game losing streak since April 8-13, 2002.

"Nobody takes losing in stride," said Scioscia. "But you have to also be able to turn the page."

Vice president and general manager Bill Stoneman talked about how he is dealing with the tough stretch.

"Nobody enjoys not winning," he said. "... Does it cause you to do anything differently? No."

Reliever Scot Shields is also getting fed up with the way things are going.

"We're getting tired of it, I know I am," he said. "Sometime, things are going to have to turn around. Hopefully, soon."

On deck: The Angels continue their road trip with a four-game series in Toronto at Rogers Centre. The Angels send RHP Ervin Santana (2-0, 3.73 ERA) to the mound on Friday against LHP Gustavo Chacin (4-1, 4.70 ERA).

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