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Weaver feels fine after third bullpen session

Angels starter has been on DL with hip inflammation since June 21

ARLINGTON -- Angels right-hander Jered Weaver threw his third bullpen session Saturday since going on the disabled list with left-hip inflammation. All signs still point to him returning after the All-Star break.

"He won't be ready before the break," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Should be ready after."

Weaver, who went on the DL June 21, threw 55 pitches without sitting and said he felt fine. His only goal was to complete the bullpen without feeling stiffness -- something he said he achieved. A sweat-drenched Weaver said his only problem in the session was the Texas heat.

If Weaver's return does indeed come after the All-Star break, that leaves another opportunity for 24-year-old left-hander Andrew Heaney to get starting experience. Heaney is 1-3 with a 4.46 ERA and earned his first career win Tuesday, going seven innings and allowing one run on two hits vs. the Yankees, striking out seven.

Worth noting

Albert Pujols isn't expected to be an All-Star starter, but Scioscia said there's no doubt he is deserving of a roster spot. Pujols is hitting .263 with an American League-leading 24 home runs.

"I don't know how you keep Albert off of there," Scioscia said. "Albert's certainly having an All-Star-caliber season. I think he deserves it, not only with his resume, but if you're trying to win a game with meaning, I think you want Albert in there."

• A less obvious All-Star candidate is left-handed pitcher Hector Santiago. Santiago is 5-4 with a 2.40 ERA after Saturday's 13-0 win vs. Texas. He has allowed one or fewer runs in 10 of his past 15 starts.

"Whatever happens, happens," Scioscia said. "We'll see. Pitching is a little more dicey, but I think he's definitely a candidate."

• Jeremy Zoll is no longer working the instant-replay booth for the Angels. The team is filling that role with batting-practice pitcher Mike Ashman and Minor League hitting coordinator Paul Sorrento. Zoll is still expected to retain the title of coordinator of advanced scouting and will continue his other regular duties.

Cody Stavenhagen is an associate reporter for
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