Morin poised to rejoin Angels' bullpen
ANAHEIM -- Angels reliever Mike Morin returned to the team on Monday, one month and five days after going on the disabled list with a strained left oblique. The 24-year-old right-hander is done with his rehab assignment and is expected to be activated Tuesday or Wednesday.
Morin made one appearance in Arizona, then three for Triple-A Salt Lake, notching two scoreless outings before giving up four runs on six hits in two-thirds of an inning on Sunday -- Morin's first time pitching in back-to-back days and his final test before rejoining the Major League club.
Recent results aside, he feels good.
"I don't think about it at all," Morin said of the injury, which he sustained while pitching in Fenway Park on May 23. "It has not crossed my mind one bit. That is nice to know that it's healed up. Now it's about getting people out."
Morin did a lot of that during his rookie season last year, while posting a 2.90 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP in 60 appearances. With Kevin Jepsen having joined the Rays via trade, Morin entered the 2015 season eyeing an opportunity to be the Angels' seventh-inning reliever, but he's been charged with 11 runs (10 earned) on 13 hits and five walks in 15 innings.
Morin's walk rate is about the same -- 2.9 walks per nine innings last year, 3.0 walks per nine innings this year -- but he believes he's been focusing too much on his mechanics instead of just going right after hitters.
"That's why I was successful last year -- because I was aggressive," Morin said. "I think that's really the main thing -- attacking the strike zone and not worrying about results. Just committing to a pitch and just throwing it. It's a small sample size, but my first three [rehab] outings, very minimal pitches, plenty of strikes. It's been good."
• The Angels called up right-handed-hitting slugger C.J. Cron from Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday, after optioning left-handed-hitting third baseman Kyle Kubitza on Sunday. Cron started against lefty CC Sabathia, but the Angels aren't expected to see another lefty until Saturday (Wandy Rodriguez of the Rangers).
• Collin Cowgill (sprained right wrist) took batting practice on the field before Monday's game and Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Cowgill is "getting close" to going on a rehab assignment. The Angels could face a tough roster decision between Cowgill and Daniel Robertson, another right-handed-hitting outfielder with similar skillsets.
• Lefty reliever Edgar Ibarra was outrighted Sunday, putting the Angels' 40-man roster at 39. That potentially creates a spot for Cory Rasmus, who has pitched in six innings in four rehab appearances in Triple-A. The Angels want Rasmus -- on the 60-day DL after undergoing surgery for a core injury -- to get more stretched out before getting activated.
• Angels starting pitcher Jered Weaver (inflammation in his left hip) got off the mound for the first time on Monday, throwing a 20-pitch, all-fastball bullpen session. Weaver said he felt good and will throw a more extended bullpen session Wednesday, incorporating all his pitches. The 32-year-old right-hander probably won't need to go on a rehab assignment before coming back.
Asked whether Weaver could return before the All-Star break, Scioscia said: "It's tough to handicap it right now, but there's anything from making sure he physically feels good to getting back into his delivery and finding it, and getting some stamina in there in terms of up-down bullpens. So there's a little bit of work to go."