A bone spur in his left hip that required surgery a year ago took a sizable chunk out of last season. A herniated disk in his lower back that has plagued him periodically over the last couple of years relegated most of his at-bats this season to Triple-A.
But with his back mostly healthy and the club able to expand its roster this month, McPherson has returned to the Angels and looks to make the most of the remaining few games before his health options in the offseason.
McPherson is undecided about whether or not to have surgery, and said he's been told one procedure might have a recovery time of about six weeks, while another would require nearly a year. He also said he's been given advice from just about anyone who will give it, including everything from Pilates to yoga.
"I'll see some specialists and some guys to get more opinions," McPherson said, adding that one surgery involves cutting a nerve while another removes the disk altogether.
The 26-year-old was recalled from Salt Lake on May 9 to replace Casey Kotchman, who went on the disabled list with a a case of mononucleosis. McPherson's time with the Angels lasted a little over a month, and after experiencing back spasms in Arizona on June 22, he was placed on the DL. In 109 at-bats this season, McPherson hit six homers and drove in 12 runs.
But his time since the beginning of the 2005 Cactus League schedule has been largely frustrating. Hip problems limited him to 205 at-bats last season, and this spring McPherson missed time with a skin rash and an oblique strain, an injury that also derailed his rehab assignment with Salt Lake this summer.
Questions of durability have begun to arise, and McPherson admits those issues are warranted.
"They have every right to. I have a herniated disk. The typical thing that people are going to do is question your durability," McPherson said. "To tell you the truth, I've had some injury problems, but this is nothing compared to last year. This is a walk in the park. It's September and I'm still playing."
With Darin Erstad back on the roster, McPherson shifted his defensive work back to third base, but there is no defined role.
Hot prospect: The Angels got an up-close-and-personal look at their latest acquisition as Yung Il Jung and his family visited Angel Stadium on Monday.
The 17-year-old right-hander, whom the Angels signed two months ago for a $1 million bonus, will have a physical Tuesday and then report to Arizona, where he will play in an instructional league.
From Gwang Ju, South Korea, Jung will return home when the league is done to complete high school, but the organization is intrigued by the young pitcher, who reportedly has a 93 mph fastball. The Mets, Twins, Yankees and Mariners all expressed interest in Jung.
"We're not signing anybody to be a marketing tool, we sign people to play baseball, and our scouts liked him," said owner Arte Moreno. "We try to expand our horizons and are investing in our Minor League system and scouting."
Moreno said that turning to global markets is part of a larger strategy.
"In the short term you want to win every night, but in the long term you want to get the organization where it is stable and producing good players," Moreno said.
Doing the time: Brendan Donnelly is ready to accept his punishment and forego the appeal process.
The reliever was suspended four games for intentionally throwing at a batter in Texas on Aug. 16 but appealed the ruling. Donnelly has since waited for a hearing date but decided he'd waited long enough and began his suspension Monday. He'll miss the three-game series against the White Sox and the opening game in Texas on Thursday.
"It was getting to the point where the hearing date hadn't been set, and if I didn't drop it and not serve it now I would have to serve it against the division and specifically against Oakland," Donnelly said.
He had hoped to get a hearing this Friday in Texas but said that date wasn't firm, and feared the issue would drag into the last critical stretch of games when the Angels face the A's in seven of the last 10 days of the season.
"I don't know if the appeal was going to be fruitful," manager Mike Scioscia said. "It is best to get this behind us now and move forward."
Lineup: Maicer Izturis batted leadoff again Monday, his fourth straight game atop the order in games he's started. He is 4-for-12 while the Angels are 3-0 in those games. Izturis did not start Sept. 9 because of a sore hamstring but pinch-hit for Chone Figgins in the ninth inning and drew a walk.
Numbers: This Angels club is the first in franchise history to be more than 10 games over the .500 mark after being more than 10 games under the .500 mark in the same season. The Angels were 17-28 on May 22 and entered Monday's series opener with the White Sox 77-66.
On deck: The Angels will host the White Sox again Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. PT with right-hander Ervin Santana set to face Chicago left-hander Mark Buehrle. Joe Saunders will start against the White Sox 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.Less