Angels to miss Escobar's presence in lineup

Angels to miss Escobar's presence in lineup

ANAHEIM -- Angels third baseman Yunel Escobar expressed disappointment Monday after learning that he would miss two to four weeks with a Grade 1 left hamstring strain.

"It's tough because my plan was to play the most games of my career this year," Escobar said in Spanish. "I wanted to play at least 160 games. It's difficult."

Escobar, who was officially placed on the 10-day disabled list Monday, said he first began to feel discomfort in his hamstring after scoring from first in the fifth inning of the Angels' 7-0 win over the Tigers on Friday. It flared up again the next day, causing him to depart Saturday's game and undergo an MRI on Sunday, which revealed the strain.

"I started to feel something a couple of days ago, but the team needed help and I wanted to try to play through it," Escobar said. "I didn't say anything because I thought it was something temporary, but it got worse."

Escobar, 34, said he plans to rest for five to 10 days before resuming baseball activities.

"I'm going to try to get better as soon as possible," he said.

Escobar's absence will create voids for the Angels at third base and the leadoff spot. Manager Mike Scioscia said Luis Valbuena will likely get the majority of starts at third in the interim, though he also plans to mix in Cliff Pennington and Jefry Marte, who was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake after briefly being sent down on Sunday to clear room for first baseman C.J. Cron.

Escobar's production at the top of the lineup will more difficult to replace, however, as he had been batting .272 with a .735 OPS, five home runs and 17 RBIs through 38 games. Kole Calhoun hit leadoff on Monday in the Halos' series opener against the White Sox, but the right fielder has been streaky this season and entered Monday batting .225 with a .637 OPS.

"I think with Yunel being out for a while, we're going to have to rearrange some things," Scioscia said. "It's a spot where obviously Kole has hit before and has been comfortable. Kole has had a little rough spell, but he's hitting the ball better than some of his numbers showed. Hopefully, he'll be able to get up there and be that tablesetter that he can be in front of Mike Trout and Albert Pujols and go from there."

Worth noting

• Right-hander Andrew Bailey visited Dr. David Altchek in New York on Monday for a shoulder examination, and his clinical exam and imaging revealed no new findings, according to Angels general manager Billy Eppler. Bailey, who has been on the disabled list since April 12 with right shoulder inflammation, will continue to "progress as tolerated," Eppler said.

• Right-hander Mike Morin is scheduled to face live hitters on Tuesday for the first time since landing on the disabled list on April 21 with neck tightness.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.