Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Dallas McPherson's Bat Awakens, Prompts Callup

In his first sign of life in nearly a year, 3B Dallas McPherson finally appeared to recover his swing at AAA Salt Lake, prompting the Angels to call him up instantly. The Angels are desperate for offense, having been defeated 9-1 by playoff rival Chicago on Tuesday, the team's 20th loss in 34 games going back to last year. Scoring fewer than four runs per game on average, Angels rank 11th in batting and homers against the league, 12th in runs and 13th in OBP. McPherson started at first base against the White Sox after Chone Figgins moved to center to replace injured Darren Erstad. McPherson had a poor spring and had been struggling for the Salt Lake Bees until he suddenly took off on a 6-17 tear with five homers in four games. McPherson hit 40 homers in 2004 minor league action, but suffered a litany of injuries in his rookie year, and up until now, has never lived up to what has been perceived as his excellent potential. In other moves, the Angels demoted so-called catcher of the future Jeff Mathis, batting .103, and switched reserve third baseman Rob Quinlan to first base after hiding the slumping bat of Casey Kotchman, batting .152, on the 15-day DL with what a team spokesman described as a "virus." The Angels are also stepping up efforts to find an established bat.