Matthews rests after first start back

Matthews rests after first start back

ANAHEIM -- Gary Matthews was given a day off Tuesday after making his first start in nine days Monday, but he is expected to be in the starting lineup again Wednesday when the Angels face left-hander Aaron Laffey in the series finale against the Indians.

The outfielder said his left knee, which was diagnosed with a small tear to the patellar tendon in his knee on Saturday, felt better with the time off, but "it never feels great."

Matthews went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts Monday, but he said his struggles were not because of his injured knee.

"My timing felt worse than my knee felt," Matthews said. "Having all those days off without seeing pitching, you lose your timing a hair."

The switch-hitter is batting .250 as a right-hander this season, which is much better than his .225 average batting left-handed. Matthews said it hurts more when he swings left-handed because he puts more of his weight on his left leg.

He'll get a chance to play center field Wednesday and bat right-handed against Laffey, a pitcher he's never faced.

"We'll get Gary swinging tomorrow against a lefty," Angels manager Mike Scisocia said. "He's just getting back into the equation to see how his knee responds."

Scioscia said Matthews' playing time will not only be determined by his knee but how productive he is at the plate. But it's not exactly what Matthews wants.

"I'd rather play every day," Matthews said. "That's what I want my role to be. I think it's possible. I'd like to find out."

But Matthews understands he needs to be productive to take playing time away from Juan Rivera, who is batting .375 with three homers and eight RBIs in 10 starts this month.

"My knee's not going to feel great, but let's be honest, my performance is going to determine how much I play," Matthews said. "If I play well, then more than likely I'll get my at-bats and play."

Matthews, 33, is batting .232 with seven home runs and 34 RBIs in 90 games this season.

Rhett Bollinger is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.