Rehab stints up next for Freese, Cowgill
Pair expected to go to Minors later this week
CHICAGO -- David Freese was in the visitors' clubhouse at U.S. Cellular Field with his teammates, but he will not be in the lineup with them this week.
The third baseman is expected to make his return to the Angels at some point in the week, but he has yet to begin a rehab assignment. Since he broke his finger, Freese's swing has recovered well, but his ability to throw is still lacking.
Freese broke his right index finger when he was hit by a pitch on July 22, which has made it tough to make throws from one corner of the infield to the other without losing control. The Angels will be patient with Freese, waiting to send him to a rehab assignment later this week.
"I think from the offensive side of swinging the bat, that looks like it's coming along a little quicker than throwing," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "As soon as he's able to go out there and get some rehab, swinging the bats as a DH, we'll take advantage of that to keep that moving ahead."
Freese took batting practice Monday and said he feels fine swinging. He was hitting .240 with 11 home runs and 43 RBIs before his injury.
"Then, hopefully, he's not too far behind throwing," Scioscia said. "Last couple days, he's made some progress throwing, but he's got a little ways to go."
The Angels could also return Collin Cowgill from the disabled list. Cowgill has been on the 60-day list with a right wrist sprain, but he is expected to start a rehab assignment on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Cowgill worked out Monday, but he has not played since May 25. Scioscia hasn't finalized his plans for Cowgill's return yet, but the outfielder could be eased back in similarly to Freese.
"There's a progression, but he'll do a combination of outfield and DH," Scioscia said.
Scioscia said reliever Joe Smith would be available to pitch Monday night. The righty has not pitched since Aug. 4, when he felt tightness in his throwing arm in Friday's game.
It's the first time Smith has felt that tightness in his arm, he said. But he was held out Sunday to make sure he didn't have any setbacks.
"There's no hesitation in my mind [I''m ready to pitch]," Smith said.