Notes: Angels thinking pink

Notes: Angels thinking pink

ANAHEIM -- Major League Baseball broke out the pink bats on Sunday in support of the fight against breast cancer.

In a collective effort to raise money for the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, selected players around the big leagues used pink bats.

After the games, players signed the bats and MLB collected them for auction on MLB.com, with the proceeds going to the Komen Foundation. Each team also signed a team-logo pink Louisville Slugger bat, which will be auctioned.

Adam Kennedy and Orlando Cabrera were two Angels to use the bats Sunday. The bats were issued in the player's individual specifications.

"I got the bats a couple of days ago. They maybe felt a little different but they should be fine," Kennedy said. "I thought they were a little shiny and I wasn't sure about that, but I've used them and they're fine. I don't do a whole lot of prep to my bats anyway."

Players all wore pink wristbands and the support throughout the clubhouse was unanimous.

"It's a good thing; it raises awareness. With our high profile in sports, there is a lot we can do, manager Mike Scioscia said. "If someone has a good game with one, you'll see pink bats for a while."

Kennedy agreed.

"If I play well, I'll order a pink bat tomorrow," Kennedy said. He might do just that as he blasted a two-run homer in the third inning Sunday.

Remember me: Jeff Mathis is doing what he can to remain on the Angels depth chart.

The rookie was sent down May 3 after opening the season with a .103 batting average. But it was more than his bat. Rated highly for his defensive skills during his climb through the organization, Mathis struggled behind the plate as well in his 12 games with the Angels this season.

At Salt Lake, though, Mathis is playing with greater confidence and it's evident both at the plate as well as defensively. On Saturday, Mathis hit a solo homer to extend his hitting streak to nine games and is hitting .333 in nine games there.

"He needed to relax and play baseball," Scioscia said. "We're impressed with the reports that we're getting that he is getting back to how he played last year."

Catcher Mike Napoli, who started for the Angels on Sunday, has also impressed the club with his defense. Known more as an offensive player, Napoli has demonstrated soft hands and an accurate arm.

When Mathis returns this season is not a matter of if but when, Scioscia said, and the club might consider carrying three catchers to get him a roster spot.

"If we have a couple of guys that are swinging the bat well, that could expand our bench depth. We haven't ruled out the idea of three catchers," Scioscia said. "But if Jeff plays to his potential, he is the type of player that can force a role on the Major League level."

Coming and going: The Angels optioned second baseman Howie Kendrick to Triple-A Salt Lake and recalled shortstop Erick Aybar in a move that will be effective Tuesday. Also, right-hander Chris Bootcheck (left hamstring strain) will begin a rehab assignment Monday.

Aybar will provide infield depth while the club wanted Kendrick to get regular at-bats, Scioscia said.

Moving along: Bartolo Colon threw from the mound Sunday in his second bullpen session since going on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder April 16. He threw 50 pitches for about 10 minutes.

Colon also threw a bullpen Friday and emerged from that session pain free. The Angels will proceed with caution and have yet to put a timetable on his return, but when he is able to throw all of his pitches without incident, he will move on to a simulated game with a rehab assignment to follow, Scioscia said.

"He feels good and is making progress. There is light at the end of the tunnel," Scioscia said. "Every day is key but he still has to be monitored."

Good news: Scot Shields was examined by team physician Dr. Craig Milhouse and everything was normal, Shields said. The reliever suffered chest pains last weekend in Toronto and was taken for tests late Monday night. The tests were negative.

Shields was prescribed medication for indigestion and said no further tests have been scheduled.

"I feel fine; everything is OK," Shields said. "I think (the indigestion) is all it was."

Mother's Day: Tim Salmon presented flowers to five moms and their kids prior to Sunday's game. Each child submitted a 25-word essay on why his or her mother was the best. Grand prize winner Carrie Mason (mother) and Monique Mason (daughter) were awarded the first pitch.

Four runners-up prizes were also awarded including batboy and the "play ball" call prior to game time.

On the farm: Kendry Morales hit a two-run homer and Erick Aybar added a solo shot in Salt Lake's 8-2 win over Iowa on Saturday. Left-hander Joe Saunders (5-1) allowed two runs on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts over eight innings for the win.

On deck: The Angels will be off Monday and then will host the Blue Jays in a three-game series, beginning Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. PT. Right-hander Ervin Santana will face Toronto left-hander Ted Lilly with Kelvim Escobar scheduled to start against the Blue Jays on Wednesday.

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