OAKLAND -- The Angels have now been without the left side of their infield for three weeks, with shortstop Erick Aybar out since April 9 with a bruised left heel and third baseman Alberto Callaspo sidelined since April 11 with a strain in his right calf. And though they may not be the biggest names on the Angels' roster, they're among the most crucial.
"They're huge in our lineup," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Those two guys are huge, for the balance aspect of obviously being switch-hitters and being able to get a nice lineup flow, to the offensive production they bring. They're important for us, that's for sure, and we're looking forward to getting them in the lineup, get them productive and hopefully get that offensive chemistry going."
Aybar played in three extended Spring Training games in Arizona last week, then went 2-for-5 in his first -- and perhaps only -- rehab game for Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Callaspo, meanwhile, had what Scioscia deemed a "great workout" in Oakland before Monday's game and will start for Class A Inland Empire on Tuesday.
The Angels are "still going day-by-day" with regards to how many rehab games Callaspo and Aybar will need, but a return for the weekend home series against the Orioles seems likely. In their absence, Luis Jimenez -- 5-for-his-last-33 after a hot start -- has started at third base, with Brendan Harris getting the majority of the playing time at shortstop.
Asked if Aybar would replace the surging Peter Bourjos in the leadoff spot when activated, Scioscia said, "Peter's starting to move forward, so we'll have some things to look at. I would imagine we want to get these guys [Aybar and Callaspo] some Major League playing time before we reshuffle a lot of the lineup. But we'll look at it."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.