Hot-hitting Kendrick not quite ready

Hot-hitting Kendrick not quite ready

KANSAS CITY -- Howard Kendrick continues to crush baseballs. That's the good news. The not-so-good news is that he also continues to feel twinges in his left hamstring, delaying his return to the Angels' lineup.

Kendrick isn't expected to rejoin his friends, the American League West leaders, until they return home after a weekend series against the Rays. The Angels open a seven-game homestand on Monday night against the White Sox, and the hope is Kendrick will be ready to bring his smoking bat into play sometime during the week that concludes with three Interleague Play dates with the Dodgers.

Hitting two homers and a single for Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday night and raising his California League average to .833, Kendrick departed after seven innings, having made a fielding error to go with his offensive fireworks.

"He felt stiffness at the end," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said on Wednesday. "He felt good to a certain point. It's moving in the right direction, but we're not quite there. He's going to be evaluated today to see how it feels.

"Hamstrings are a life of their own. Sometimes the last 10 percent can take some time. We want to make sure this thing is 100 percent. The fact he still feels it is indicative that he needs more time. We'll see how it feels, keep evaluating everything."

Asked when he expects to see Kendrick back in an Angels uniform, Scioscia said, "Probably it's going to be when we get home. If it's a matter of an extra three, four, five days, it's definitely worth the price to feel better for his long-term health."

The Angels also are without Chone Figgins (strained right hamstring) and Maicer Izturis (15-day DL, lower back spasms), leaving second base in the hands of Sean Rodriguez. The Floridian has handled it capably in four games, batting .286 with solid defense.

Figgins, who played catch on Wednesday night, is unsure when he'll be ready to reclaim his leadoff spot. He is expected to do some running and taking batting practice in Florida.

Kendrick is batting .500 in 36 at-bats for the Angels. He missed three games with a jammed right thumb before straining the hamstring running the bases in Seattle on April 13.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.