Downs throws 'pen session, participates in drills
Lefty has bruise on left knee, could close on Wednesday
MINNEAPOLIS -- Lefty reliever Scott Downs described his injury status as: "Very lucky."
So are the Angels, apparently.
On Monday, the team revealed Downs had only sustained a bruise on the back of his left knee, which he hurt while ducking out of the way of a J.P. Arencibia comebacker the day before. On Tuesday, Downs threw a 12-pitch bullpen session and took part in some agility drills at a soggy Target Field. And now, manager Mike Scioscia anticipates Downs being available as his closer no later than Wednesday.
The 36-year-old avoided a trip to the disabled list on April 12, when Twins center fielder Denard Span stepped on his right ankle at Target Field.
Now, it seems, he has dodged yet another trip.
"I'm using my nine lives up real fast -- the ankle and now this," said Downs, who will temporarily wear a sleeve on his left knee. "It's just one of those freak things where my body fell one way and my leg twisted the other, and I couldn't put any weight on it."
It was a scary sight for the Angels on Sunday, watching Downs limp off the field with one out in the ninth, then finding out LaTroy Hawkins sustained a broken right pinkie while fielding a comebacker that resulted in a game-ending double play.
The 39-year-old Hawkins, whose recovery time could take 4-6 weeks, was lost to the DL, with veteran sinkerballer David Pauley taking his place on the roster.
Downs, who hasn't given up a run in 11 appearances, was a little luckier.
"I'm very lucky, very fortunate," Downs said. "The training staff's been great with the treatments and the stuff that they recommend and have us do. It's been non-stop for 36 hours."
"As important as he's been to our bullpen, last year and this year, this is great news," added Scioscia, whose bullpen entered Tuesday with the second-highest ERA in baseball. "Hopefully he'll get out there and won't skip a beat."
Weaver delivers Top 10 list on Letterman
MINNEAPOLIS -- Being a big David Letterman fan, Jered Weaver was kind of bummed last week to find out his appearance on the show was cancelled due to production issues. But on Tuesday, six days after his first career no-hitter, the Angels' ace finally got a chance to read off the "Top 10" for the "Late Show with David Letterman."
The segment, which aired during Tuesday night's episode on CBS: "Top 10 Signs You Will Never Throw A No-Hitter."
"I was pretty excited," said Weaver, who no-hit the Twins at Angel Stadium on Wednesday night. "Every time I'm at home, I watch Dave before I go to bed, so it's pretty cool to be on his show.
"He's just so laid back. His dry humor, I love it. I got a chance to do a little interview before we did the Top 10 and stuff, he asked me some questions, and it was cool. It was fun. A lot of fun."
Weaver was stationed in one of the Target Field broadcast booths for about a half-hour pregame, rehearsing and taping the Top 10. Weaver's Top 10 list included:
10. You wear a glove on both hands.
9. The altitude of the mound makes you dizzy.
8. You performed your own Tommy John surgery.
7. Your pitches tend to bounce.
6. You spend most of the game sipping cocktails in the players' wives section.
5. You can only pitch when no one's watching.
4. The last guy you struck out was Phil Rizzuto.
3. You're allergic to the rosin.
2. You're still not sure if you're a righty or a lefty.
1. Most teams don't let the mascot pitch.
"No. 1, before they changed it, was: You pitch for the Mets [which have never thrown a no-hitter]," Weaver said. "But I felt bad. Being a baseball guy, I can't say that."
Weaver read from the teleprompter and did not require any second takes, he claims.
But he was probably more nervous for this than he was at any point on Wednesday night.
"I was, until I had a chance to rehearse everything and get a feel for how they wanted to do it and stuff like that," Weaver said. "But as soon as you hear him in your ear and you get under way, it gets a little nerve-wracking."
Despite off-day, Angels to stay on rotation
MINNEAPOLIS -- The way his starting rotation is pitching, Angels manager Mike Scioscia didn't want to change anything. So, despite the benefit of Thursday's off-day, Scioscia is opting to keep his rotation on schedule and not skip anyone.
That means it'll be former Rangers ace C.J. Wilson starting the series opener in Texas on Friday, opposite Japanese sensation Yu Darvish.
"There's no shuffling of rotations now," Scioscia said. "We need to get guys out there, and C.J., he's going to pitch against a lot of good teams. Texas is going to be one of them, and we need to keep these guys out there performing the way they can."
Jerome Williams will pitch Saturday against lefty Matt Harrison, and Jered Weaver will throw against righty Neftali Feliz in Sunday's series finale.
Heading into Tuesday, the Angels' rotation has posted 16 quality starts in the last 17 games, posting a 2.26 ERA in that span, and leads the American League in ERA (3.21).
Morales out again vs. left-handed starter
MINNEAPOLIS -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia said prior to the season that Kendrys Morales' days off would preferably only come against lefties, and for the most part, he has stuck to that plan.
Morales was out of the starting lineup for the second straight night on Tuesday, with the Twins trotting out their second straight southpaw in Scott Diamond, who was making his first start of the season and has never pitched against the Angels before. Morales, a switch-hitter who's batting .318 with two homers and nine RBIs in 24 games, has received just 13 plate appearances against lefties this year, compared to 79 against righties.
"My timing's good, it's there," Morales said of how he feels from the right side of the plate. "I just have to wait for them to give me the opportunity. That's it."
Of Morales' eight days off, only one -- April 15 against the Yankees' Ivan Nova -- has come against a righty.
Asked on Monday about eventually getting Morales more at-bats against lefties, Scioscia said: "The schedule gives you some built-in looks to give him a little time off to make sure that he's staying fresh. He's played a stretch of games and he's come out of it fine. We definitely want him to get some looks against lefties also. It's just a matter of where our pieces can fit."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.