Angels taking it slow with Izturis

Angels taking it slow with Izturis

ANAHEIM -- The Angels have learned to handle Maicer Izturis with care. They're being cautious again with their gifted but sometimes fragile infielder.

Izturis experienced soreness in his left hamstring before Sunday's series finale against the Red Sox and was a late scratch. He would be available to pinch-hit against the Athletics after taking batting practice on Tuesday, but he's not expected to be back in the lineup, leading off, until the Angels hit the road for a seven-game trip opening Friday night against the Rays in Florida.

"We expect him to play Friday," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Izturis, who has been the team's most consistent offensive presence. "He can pinch-hit tonight."

Through Monday, Izturis was tied for ninth in the American League in batting at .338 and had a .384 on-base percentage. He was tied for fifth in the AL with 27 hits and had two home runs, nine RBIs and seven doubles.

Equally adept at third base, shortstop and second, Izturis missed 61 games in 2010 (strained left forearm and right shoulder inflammation) and has visited the DL nine times in his career.