Jered Weaver inching closer to return

June, 15, 2012
6/15/12
6:11
PM PT
ANAHEIM -- Angels ace Jered Weaver was able to throw 60 pitches of a simulated game Friday afternoon and appears close to returning to the Angels rotation. Weaver has been out since leaving his May 28 start against the Yankees because of a back injury.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia stopped short of pronouncing Weaver fit to return or even speculating when that might be, but the fact Weaver made it through the four-inning simulated game without pain or further incident is an encouraging sign. He's scheduled to throw a bullpen session Sunday and be reevaluated after that.

"Everything looked great, he looked really sharp," Scioscia said. "But we'll see how he feels tommorrow and how he comes out of his bullpen Sunday before thinking about fitting him back in."

All things considered, the Angels have come through this stretch without their ace relatively well. Including the 9-8 win over the Yankees in the game he left early, they are 10-5 in the 15 games since he went down. That's due mostly to a vastly improved bullpen and an awakening offense.

"It was certainly a void to fill," Scioscia said. "Some guys have stepped up and pitched well. But he's a guy you want to get back in the rotation for sure."

Also on the mend: Catcher Bobby Wilson (concussion) is scheduled to play in games this weekend at Triple-A Salt Lake City.

Dan Haren (4-6, 3.73 ERA) takes the mound tonight against the Arizona Diamonbacks for the first time since they traded him to the Angels nearly two years ago.

Here's tonight's lineups:

ANGELS

Mike Trout CF

Torii Hunter RF

Albert Pujols 1B

Kendrys Morales DH

Mark Trumbo LF

Alberto Callaspo 3B

Howie Kendrick 2B

Erick Aybar SS

Hank Conger C

Dan Haren P

DIAMONBACKS

Chris Young CF

Jason Kubel DH

Justin UPton RF

Miguel Montero C

Aaron Hill 2B

Lyle Overbay 1B

Ryan Roberts 3B

Gerardo Parra LF

John McDonald SS

Trevor Cahill P

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Mike Trout
BA HR RBI R
.300 24 76 74
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Trout 24
RBIM. Trout 76
RM. Trout 74
OPSM. Trout .969
WJ. Weaver 11
ERAG. Richards 2.74
SOG. Richards 143