ANAHEIM -- Angels catcher Chris Iannetta, out since early May because of right wrist surgery and then a forearm strain, was activated prior to Saturday's game against the Rays and will return to the starting lineup to catch newcomer Zack Greinke on Sunday.
To clear a spot, catcher John Hester, with options remaining because he was signed to a Minor League contract, was sent back to Triple-A Salt Lake. Bobby Wilson, without options, will go back to being the backup after Saturday's start.
"Anytime you can come out of it healthy and strong, it's always a positive," Iannetta said, fresh off a stint in Salt Lake. "I'm ready and I'm excited to be back."
Iannetta has another reason to be excited: The rotation he gets to work with is now even better, with Greinke now being the fifth All-Star -- alongside Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, C.J. Wilson and Ervin Santana -- in the starting staff.
Iannetta has faced Greinke several times in the past.
"It's a really tough at-bat," he said. "He doesn't give you many pitches to hit, and if he does give you a pitch to hit, it's still not ideal. It's a really good breaking ball in the strike zone."
Acquired from the Rockies in exchange for Tyler Chatwood in November, Iannetta was forced to undergo wrist surgery on May 11, then suffered a right forearm strain while trying to come back too fast around mid-June. But now, after going through a throwing progression and completing a six-game Minor League rehab assignment, Iannetta's arm feels fully healthy again.
The Angels will look to him to improve a position that has helped give up the second-most stolen bases in the Majors and ranks 12th in the American League in OPS.
"Chris brought some things to the offensive side that I think we missed," said manager Mike Scioscia, who credited Wilson and Hester for how well they've worked with the pitching staff in his absence. "Bobby started to swing the bat a little better, but Chris brought some on-base percentage and the ability to drive the ball."