ANAHEIM -- Left-handers Jason Vargas and Sean Burnett still have hurdles to clear before they rejoin the Angels pitching staff, but they both felt strong after throwing bullpen sessions on Tuesday.
"They feel good," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think with Jason, it was a little more intense. He feels good with it, but there's going to be normal stiffness that he's going to feel. With Sean, it was really just touch and feel to get off the mound."
Although Burnett's session was light, the 30-year-old was encouraged.
"Felt pretty good," Burnett said. "It was just 20 pitches, but it was progress since I couldn't throw five or six the last time."
Burnett, who is on the the disabled list for the second time this season, will take a few days off before he throws another bullpen and then determine the best course of action to rejoin his teammates as soon as possible.
"I was just trying to get off the mound yesterday, not knowing if it was going to hurt or not," Burnett said. "Yesterday was a big step. Hopefully it feels like that every time out."
Richards to replace Blanton for Saturday's start
ANAHEIM -- Following Wednesday's 1-0 victory over the Twins, the Angels announced that Garrett Richards, not Joe Blanton, would start Saturday's game against Oakland.
Richards has not started a game since April 30 so it is a bit of a mystery as to how much stamina he has, but Blanton has struggled this season and it was only a matter of time before a change was made.
Richards has made four starts for the Angels this season and posted a 5.54 ERA.
Blanton is 2-13 with a 5.66 ERA on the season, but the month of July has been especially troublesome for the right-hander.
Blanton has given up 18 runs in 18 1/3 innings in July including four runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings in Monday's loss to Minnesota.
Angels trio visits Children's Hospital of Orange County
ANAHEIM -- The life of a professional athlete is immensely time consuming, but prior to Monday's game against the Twins, a trio of Angels took the time to visit the Children's Hospital of Orange County.
Ernesto Frieri visited the hospital by himself in 2012, but he was joined by Kevin Jepsen and Mike Trout this time around.
"For me, it's really important to help those kids with anything," Frieri said. "They really love the team. When you're sick, all you want is a smile, all you want is to see somebody you really like, and that's why I went this year again."
The trio went to every room and spent time talking with the children. They also took photos with the kids and presented them with autographed hats and balls.
While Frieri enjoys brightening the kids' days, he admitted that the trip is not completely filled with smiles.
"It's tough," Frieri said. "You see a lot of tough things over there. Kids one or two years old already have cancer; that's really sad."
Although it is not always easy to see kids who are struggling, Frieri enjoyed the visit and plans to go again.
"Any time that they ask me to go to the hospital and do stuff like that, I'd love to do it," Frieri said. "I love to make people feel special. I wanted to go and let them know that they have our support and we are going to pray for them."
Trumbo returns to cleanup spot in lineup
ANAHEIM -- When Angels manager Mike Scioscia wrote out Wednesday's lineup card, he decided to bump Mark Trumbo back up to the cleanup spot.
"Mark, no doubt, he's feeling a little more comfortable at the plate," Scioscia said.
Although Trumbo has spent the majority of the season hitting fourth in the Angels lineup, he was recently dropped to sixth in the order and went through a stretch where he had just four hits in 26 at-bats.
However, Trumbo went 2-for-4 on both Monday and Tuesday, marking the first time he has registered back-to-back multihit games since May 22-23.
Aside from hitting his 22nd home run of the season -- an opposite-field shot in the fourth inning of Tuesday's loss to the Twins -- Trumbo has presented a number of signs that gave Scioscia reason to make the move.
"That, and the fact that he shortened his swing and hit a line drive to left-center," Scioscia said. "There are a couple of things we are seeing that are good."
• Scioscia remained non-committal about Joe Blanton's status in the rotation.
• With a first-inning single in Tuesday's loss to the Twins, Mike Trout extended his hitting streak to a career-long 15 games. In that span, Trout is hitting .400 and has raised his average from .311 to .324.
• Prior to Wednesday's game, the Angels claimed right-handed reliever J.C. Gutierrez off waivers from the Royals and added him to the 40-man roster.
Gutierrez posted a 3.38 ERA in 29 1/3 innings this season.
William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.