Weaver threw a four-inning, 60-pitch simulated game on Tuesday, but it looks as if that won't be his final step before rejoining the Angels' rotation, as initially anticipated. The longtime ace will probably need to throw in another simulated game or perhaps even go on a Minor League rehab assignment, a convenient circumstance given the difficult rotation decision the Angels will have to make when he comes back.
"The hip's feeling good," said Weaver, who was placed on the disabled list June 21 with left hip inflammation. "Mechanically, something's just a click off. I'm just trying to get back to where I know I can be. It's getting close. I've had good days and bad days; I just need to get more consistent."
Weaver will throw a bullpen session on Thursday, and then the Angels will determine his next step. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said the 32-year-old right-hander "is moving in the right direction" and "has made a lot of progress" since getting placed on the shelf about a month ago.
"It's just more of a timing issue with his mechanics," Scioscia said. "There's no doubt that as he's moved through this process the last couple weeks where he's really starting to get aggressive, he's made progress with his timing and his command and you're seeing him get out in front a little bit more and you're starting to see the ball come out of his hand the way it needs to."
Weaver began the year 0-4 with a 6.29 ERA, then posted a 1.98 ERA over a five-start stretch in May and navigated through June with a 6.58 ERA before getting placed on the shelf. He's 4-8 with a 4.75 ERA on the season, while giving up a career-high 1.5 home runs per nine innings.
The success of the other starters -- C.J. Wilson, Garrett Richards, Hector Santiago, Andrew Heaney and Matt Shoemaker have combined for a 0.64 ERA since the All-Star break -- has made it easier for Weaver to take a little extra time.
"I might as well get back to closer to 100 percent than coming back early and having to work into it from there," Weaver said. "We're in a little bit of a better situation than we have been in the past as far as starting rotation in the Minor Leagues.
"I want to be out there more than anybody, but at the same time, I want to make sure that my body's ready to go."
• The Angels would still prefer to acquire an offensive player who's controlled beyond 2015, but they're open to rentals, which would include Tigers outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. "It's all about opportunity cost," a source said. Another rental that makes sense for them is Brewers outfielder Gerardo Parra, a left-handed hitter with a .315/.352/.514 slash line.
• Nick Tropeano was scratched from his scheduled Triple-A start on Wednesday, likely setting him up to start for the Angels on Friday -- a day they need a sixth starter because of Monday's doubleheader. Tropeano hasn't pitched since throwing seven innings of two-run ball on Thursday, but he threw a power bullpen session on Tuesday.
• The Angels and Children's Hospital of Orange County are partnering in support of the "Be an Angel for CHOC" campaign. Each fan donating $1 per win will receive a hat and two tickets to the Sept. 30 game against the A's. A donation of $5 per win earns fans an additional autographed baseball. A one-time donation of $1,000 garners a meet-and-greet with players.