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OC Register: Angels’ Kole Calhoun saw DL stint as a welcome mental, physical breather

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ANAHEIM — Kole Calhoun might have become the first baseball player to describe a trip to the disabled list as “nice” on Monday. He quickly caught himself mid-thought.

“Not nice – you never want to go on the DL,” Calhoun said, “but it gave me a chance to put things in perspective.”

When Calhoun was placed on the 10-day disabled list June 1 with a strained oblique, he was batting .145 with a .195 on-base percentage and .179 slugging percentage. He had one home run and 11 RBIs in his first 50 games.

The Angels activated Calhoun prior to Monday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He batted ninth and started in right field, his first appearance in a lineup since May 31.

After that game in Detroit, the Angels flew home to California. Calhoun said the pain he felt in the batting cage hadn’t let up.

Once he was placed on the disabled list, Calhoun left the team and went home. He said he took four or five days to rest before resuming baseball activities. He watched video of his swing. With help from coaches in Arizona, where Calhoun lives in the offseason and the Angels’ spring training facility resides, he broke down his swing mechanics on video.

“It really helped,” Calhoun said.

In the first at-bat of his first rehabilitation game with Triple-A Salt Lake, Calhoun hit a home run. He collected another five hits in 19 at-bats and finished the five-game assignment with a .316 batting average. His first trip to the DL since 2014 ended on a high note.

“I was swinging out of my mind before it happened,” Calhoun said. “(Injury) was probably bound to happen with the amount of swings I was doing trying to figure stuff out … with all that stuff that builds over time and banging your head against the wall figuring out how to get things going.”


Felix Peña will become the 11th different Angels starter this season on Tuesday, unless the right-hander ends up needed out of the bullpen on Monday.

Peña has made 38 major-league appearances over three seasons for the Cubs and Angels, but this will be his first major-league start at age 28. In 10 games (nine starts) with Triple-A Salt Lake, Peña was 1-2 with a 3.51 ERA. He struck out 38 batters in 33-1/3 innings.

Peña’s last appearance at any level came June 8, when he threw six shutout innings in Salt Lake.

Every pitcher who has started a game for the Angels this season is either on their active roster or recovering from an injury.


Shohei Ohtani has resumed swinging a bat with his left hand only, Scioscia said, “to keep his trunk going and keeping as active as he can, as close to replicating a swing without using two hands.”

Ohtani received a PRP and stem cell injection on June 8 after being diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain in his right ulnar collateral ligament. He still hasn’t been cleared to throw. Scioscia said Ohtani is doing strength training and running, and began swinging the bat “three or four” days ago.

Sunday in Oakland, Scioscia said the initial timetable for Ohtani’s next evaluation might be delayed beyond the initial three-week mark of June 28.

After reconnecting with the two-way star Monday, Scioscia said that Ohtani “has come to grips with (the injury) and understands exactly what the process will be. Our medical staff and Dr. (Steve) Yoon are very optimistic” about the prognosis.

Scioscia said infielder Zack Cozart (left shoulder subluxation) has not resumed baseball activities. Right-hander Garrett Richards (strained left hamstring) is playing catch from flat ground, while Nick Tropeano (right shoulder inflammation) is not. Right-handed reliever Jim Johnson played catch from flat ground but is still experiencing symptoms of his lumbar strain.

All four players are on the 10-day disabled list.


Kaleb Cowart began a minor-league rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake. In his first game, Cowart batted third and played right field against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. …

Jabari Blash was optioned to Salt Lake to make room for Calhoun on the active roster. Blash appeared in four games last week, and went 0 for 9 with five strikeouts and two walks. …

Angels prospect Jo Adell was named the California League Player of the Week for the week of June 11-17. The 19-year-old outfielder went 15 for 28 with four home runs and eight RBIs for Class-A Inland Empire. Adell raised his batting average for the season from .231 to .311.


Angels (RHP Felix Peña 0-0) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (RHP Matt Koch 5-3, 4.09 ERA), Tuesday, 7 p.m., Fox Sports West, ESPN

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