ANAHEIM -- With starting catcher Geovany Soto out for four to six weeks with a torn right meniscus, much of the attention falls on his backup, Carlos Perez, to step in and get most of the starts behind the plate.Defense behind the plate shouldn't be an issue, as manager Mike
ANAHEIM -- With starting catcher Geovany Soto out for four to six weeks with a torn right meniscus, much of the attention falls on his backup, Carlos Perez, to step in and get most of the starts behind the plate.
Defense behind the plate shouldn't be an issue, as manager Mike Scioscia has lauded Perez's abilities to frame pitches and call games.
Perez has started to find his pop, slugging his first home run of the season in Thursday's 7-4 win over the Dodgers. He is batting .173/.227/.259 in 81 at-bats this season.
Perez hit .250 with four home runs and 21 RBIs in 86 games as a rookie with the Angels last season.
Scioscia said he's hoping the extra at-bats will turn Perez around, but added that he's only had a "small sample size" this season.
"I'm not worried," he said.
Now the team's starting catcher, Perez said he's ready to take on the role.
"I'm ready for anything," he said. "If I have to play every day, I'll play."
The other option for the Angels is Jett Bandy, who was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday and has hit .274/.314/.411 this season in the Minors. He's ranked No. 23 in the Angels' farm system according to MLBPipeline.com.
Scioscia said Bandy, who has two career Major League plate appearances, has made strides at the plate this season and will, like Perez, make his biggest impact defensively.
"We're going to need both of those guys," Scioscia said. "We're going to need Jett, and obviously Carlos. Jett will get his share of starts, and hopefully we'll be able to balance it to where we can get Carlos going and he'll contribute when he gets his opportunity."
• Angels left fielder Craig Gentry is set to begin a Minor League rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Inland Empire Friday, if all goes well following Thursday's workout, Scioscia said. Gentry has been dealing with a right lumbar spine strain in his back, and was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 1 (retroactive to April 26). He has been targeting a late May return, and while playing with Inland Empire will keep him close to Anaheim, Scioscia said he doesn't expect the team to activate Gentry this weekend.
• Angels infielder Cliff Pennington ran for the first time Thursday since being placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 13 with a left hamstring strain. Pennington said he felt good, and will continue ramping that up in coming days. He said he's still targeting a return as soon as he is eligible to come off the disabled list May 28.
Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim.