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After hectic arrival, Morin awaits debut

ANAHEIM -- Right-handed reliever Mike Morin, in just his second full season of pro ball, wanted to get to Yankee Stadium on Sunday after his recall from Triple-A Salt Lake City before anyone changed their mind.

The Gulls were playing in Reno when Morin got the news. He had to fly to Salt Lake and change planes, but that flight was delayed two hours. Heavy traffic in New York delayed him again, and he arrived at the stadium via taxi 45 minutes before game time.

"I was stressed a bit, but I didn't get stressed out," Morin, 22, said on Monday at Angel Stadium.

Morin had time to greet manager Mike Scioscia and pitching coach Mike Butcher on Sunday, then briefly play catch on the field before the game. He walked to the bullpen with the rest of the relievers before the game, but his debut still awaits.

The way the Angels have had trouble hanging on to late leads, that debut should come quickly.

"I think Mike has really progressed," Scioscia said of the 2012 13th-round Draft choice, who began this season with Double-A Arkansas but was quickly promoted to Salt Lake. "We need guys who can come up and hold leads for us. We think Mike can do that."

Morin served as closer at Arkansas and Salt Lake. The role of Angels closer has passed from Ernesto Frieri to Joe Smith, but except for Smith in most instances before that switch, the seventh and eighth innings have been problematic for the Angels. Last season's workhorse Dane De La Rosa, who was not up to form after a spring injury, returned to the disabled list after one outing during the last homestand.

Earl Bloom is a contributor to
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