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Hermosillo's call to the bigs 'a crazy experience'

MLB.com @mi_guardado

ANAHEIM -- Michael Hermosillo was playing video games with teammate Sherman Johnson late Thursday night when he received a call from their Triple-A Salt Lake manager, Keith Johnson. The news was good: Hermosillo was being called up to the Majors for the first time.

"It's wild," Hermosillo said. "It was definitely a crazy experience. Definitely emotional at first, but now I'm just excited."

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ANAHEIM -- Michael Hermosillo was playing video games with teammate Sherman Johnson late Thursday night when he received a call from their Triple-A Salt Lake manager, Keith Johnson. The news was good: Hermosillo was being called up to the Majors for the first time.

"It's wild," Hermosillo said. "It was definitely a crazy experience. Definitely emotional at first, but now I'm just excited."

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Hermosillo, who is ranked as the Angels' No. 9 prospect by MLB Pipeline, had found it odd that he wasn't in the lineup for Thursday's game following an off-day on Wednesday, but he didn't immediately suspect that his long-awaited call-up was imminent.

"I was kind of suspicious, but I just didn't think it was going to be that day," Hermosillo said. "Just crazy."

Hermosillo, 23, started in right field and batted ninth against the Rays on Friday in his MLB debut. A right-handed hitter, Hermosillo has batted .306 with a 1.032 OPS, three home runs and 12 RBIs for Triple-A Salt Lake in 13 games this month and hit for the cycle on May 1. That hot stretch has helped lift Hermosillo's batting average to .267 with an .870 OPS on the season.

"Michael is an exciting young player with really good tools," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He worked very hard in the spring on trying to continue his path and making those tools come together to where he's a Major League player. Got off to a rough start in Triple-A, but he has really come around, and is doing a lot of the things he's capable of, so we're excited to have him up here."

Hermosillo started in place of the slumping Kole Calhoun against Rays left-hander Blake Snell. Calhoun, who bats left-handed, is hitting just .163 with a .402 OPS in 38 games this season.

A 28th-round Draft pick of the Angels in 2013, Hermosillo has enjoyed a steady rise through the club's farm system over the last two years and shot from Class A Advanced Inland Empire to Triple-A Salt Lake in 2017, after batting .267 with a .763 OPS, nine home runs and 35 stolen bases across three Minor League levels.

"At times like this, you're just able to sit back and realize what you've at least accomplished to this point," Hermosillo said. "Now, it's just about trusting what I've been doing and what I'm still capable of doing and doing it at this level, too, because the game doesn't change. It's still the same baseball game."

Upton still on the mend

Justin Upton, who was struck on the left hand by a 95-mph fastball from Chris Archer on Thursday, was not in the lineup on Friday. Chris Young started in left field in his place.

Video: TB@LAA: Upton day-to-day after getting hit in hand

"He feels much better," Scioscia said of Upton. "But not quite ready to swing the bat. We're hopeful he's going to be in there within the next couple days."

Shoemaker still searching for answers

Matt Shoemaker visited nerve specialist Dr. Susan Mackinnon in St. Louis earlier this week, though he didn't have much of an update on the status of the irritated nerve in his right forearm. He said Dr. Mackinnon believes it's a nerve compression, though the Angels doctors are still conferring to try to determine the best course of action. Shoemaker, who made only one start this season before landing on the disabled list on April 3, is scheduled to return to St. Louis for more tests on Monday.

"I want to be out there more than anybody; pitching, helping this team win," Shoemaker said. "That's also why it's frustrating because I just want to go out there and play. But, we've inched a little bit closer. This visit was good."

Worth noting

• Right-hander Felix Pena was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake to clear a roster spot for Hermosillo.

Ian Kinsler received a routine day off on Friday, with Zack Cozart starting in his place at second base.

• Outfielder Brandon Marsh, who is ranked the Angels' No. 4 prospect by MLB Pipeline, was promoted to Class A Advanced Inland Empire on Friday. Marsh, 20, batted .295 with an .859 OPS, three home runs and 24 RBIs in 34 games with Class A Burlington this season.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Michael Hermosillo