HOUSTON -- Right-hander Justin Anderson was so overcome with emotion when he found out he was being called up to the big leagues for the first time that he didn't even think to ask where he was meeting the Angels to make his roster debut.When his girlfriend told him the
HOUSTON -- Right-hander Justin Anderson was so overcome with emotion when he found out he was being called up to the big leagues for the first time that he didn't even think to ask where he was meeting the Angels to make his roster debut.
When his girlfriend told him the Angels were playing in his hometown of Houston, Anderson, in his words, "just lost it."
"It was like, you've got to be kidding me," Anderson said. "It was meant to be. You couldn't script it."
He also couldn't have scripted how the rest of the night played out. Anderson was called upon in the eighth inning of Monday's 2-0 win, tasked with holding the Angels' two-run lead and preserving an outstanding seven-inning gem by starter Tyler Skaggs.
Anderson retired Max Stassi and Josh Reddick before allowing back-to-back singles to George Springer and Jose Altuve. The inning ended with a strikeout of Carlos Correa.
"Working with [catcher Martin Maldonado], he did a really good job working with me back there," Anderson said. "That whole game plan was to listen to him, trust my stuff. I heard the crowd [during Correa's at-bat], and … I told myself, 'Hush them. Get them to be quiet.' And that's what I did."
The callup of Anderson, a graduate of Houston's St. Pius X High School, was part of a flurry of roster moves the Angels made before the game. They placed right-hander Blake Wood on the 10-day disabled list with a right elbow posterior impingement, recalled righty Eduardo Paredes from Triple-A Salt Lake and added Anderson to the Major League roster.
Given how much the bullpen has pitched of late, Anderson sensed he might see action on Monday. Manager Mike Scioscia acknowledged after the game that a taxed relief corps had something to do with using the rookie in one of the most crucial, high-leverage points of the game.
Scioscia also wasn't surprised when Anderson came through.
"It's one of the reasons why Justin is here," Scioscia said. "We have a lot of confidence in his upside. He's got a power arm, and tonight was a game where you take the water wings off and throw him in the deep end. We really didn't have a lot to go to. We were confident in giving him the ball, as you could see. He's got great stuff."
Anderson estimated that around 50 friends, family members and former teammates from the University of Texas-San Antonio would be attending Monday's opener.
He heard most of those 50 people when he ran in from the 'pen.
"It's all I heard," he said. "It was quiet, but I could hear my friends and family pulling for me."
Wood on the mend
Meanwhile, Scioscia anticipates that Wood will need only the minimum 10 days to recover from his ailment. The 32-year-old made 13 relief appearances, totaling 11 2/3 innings, with a 2.31 ERA.
Scioscia said that Wood was trying to get loose on Sunday when he felt tightness in his triceps.
"We just want to make sure we take care of this," he said. "With a 10-day DL, we can make sure we nurse it back and he can throw a little bit and make sure he's 100 percent ready."
Simmons' return imminent
Shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who left Sunday's game after being hit on the right forearm with a pitch, is expected back in the lineup as early as Tuesday.
Scioscia wanted to give Simmons Monday off, mainly as a precaution.
"He's good," Scioscia said. "He's definitely due for a day off. He's been grinding it out. Just to make sure this is behind him. ... It was really stiff when he was trying to throw yesterday when it happened. I think he feels a lot better today, but we want to give him the extra day to make sure it's totally behind him."
Encouraging news about Bridwell
General manager Billy Eppler confirmed that right-hander Parker Bridwell, currently pitching for Triple-A Salt Lake City, underwent an MRI in Los Angeles on Monday afternoon.
"The findings of the MRI were unremarkable and presented no evidence of acute trauma to the ligament in his elbow," Eppler said in an email to reporters. "He has been diagnosed with elbow inflammation and will be cleared to throw once his symptoms subside."
Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.