WASHINGTON -- You can't blame Raul Ibanez for doing anything he can to raise his batting average -- even bunting. The 41-year-old has tried -- unsuccessfully -- to beat the shift and his early-season hitting slump by bunting down the third-base line for a hit. The problem is, he's too good of a hitter to do it correctly.
"He's got great touch," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said with a smile.
Ibanez said he's not going to be deterred by his initial attempts, even though he had to think about the last time he was a threat with his wheels.
"I worked on that in spring training and I'm going to continue doing it," said Ibanez, who was 0-for-1 as a pinch hitter in Wednesday's 5-4 loss to the Washington Nationals. "Hopefully I'll do it better too. I keep catching it off the end of the bat. I used to bunt. I probably haven't bunted for a hit since 2004."
Ibanez may be hitting just .152 in 18 games, but he's 10th in the American League with 15 RBIs.
"I do take a lot of pride when there's guys out there, but overall I certainly expect more from myself," he said.
STREAK: Lost one
NEXT: Angels (LHP C.J. Wilson 2-2, 4.21 ERA) at Yankees (RHP Hiroki Kuroda 2-1, 4.21)
--LHP C.J. Wilson has faced the Yankees 25 times during his career, although just eight have been as a starting pitcher. While he is 3-3 with two saves and a 3.16 ERA overall against New York, Wilson is 3-0 with a 2.03 ERA as a member of the Angels.
--1B Albert Pujols is on pace to reach even bigger home run totals, but after hitting No. 500 on Tuesday, he's not thinking about the next milestone. "Before you get to 700, you have to get to 501," he said. "Right now, it's one day at a time." Pujols did pass Al Oliver for sole possession of 35th place with his 530th career double in the sixth inning.
--2B Howie Kendrick saw his six-game hitting streak come to an end after going 0-for-2 with two walks on Wednesday. However, Kendrick is still hitting an impressive .408 on the road, compared to just .158 at home.
--3B David Freese ended an 0-for-13 skid with a double to lead off the seventh inning Wednesday. He would later come around to score an important insurance run, but was also caught trying to advance on a wild pitch in the ninth.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "The bottom line is making pitches. The inability to do that can come from a lot of causes -- confidence, mechanics, stuff. With Ernie, he's confident and he's always turning the ball loose, but right now, he's got to be able to get that fastball into better zones to put guys away." -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia, talking about closer Ernesto Frieri, who allowed four runs on three hits in the ninth inning of Wednesday's loss to the Nationals.
--LHP Sean Burnett (left elbow surgery in August 2013) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21. He pitched a simulated game April 5 at extended spring training. Manager Mike Scioscia said Burnett still "needs more work," referring to his stamina. He resumed throwing April 14 after being shut down for a week. He threw a bullpen session for the second time April 21 and he is scheduled to pitch another simulated game on April 24. There is no timetable for his return.
--RHP Dane De La Rosa (sore right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list April 15. He will rehab the shoulder at extended spring training in Arizona. He played catch in Arizona and was progressing toward the bullpen as of April 19. He will pitch a simulated game on April 24.
--RF Kole Calhoun (sprained right ankle) went on the 15-day disabled list April 16. He will be out until mid- to late May.
--OF Josh Hamilton (torn ulnar collateral ligament in left thumb) went on the 15-day disabled list April 9. He underwent surgery April 11. He will have the stitches removed and the hard cast replaced by a removable splint on April 18, at which point he can begin doing leg and body workouts. However, he won't be able to any rehab on the thumb until May 2. He is expected to be out until late May or early June.
--RHP Ryan Brasier (right elbow strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 16.
--LHP Brian Moran (left elbow inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 13. He is expected to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.
RHP Jered Weaver
LHP C.J. Wilson
LHP Hector Santiago
RHP Garrett Richards
LHP Tyler Skaggs
RHP Ernesto Frieri (closer)
RHP Joe Smith
RHP Kevin Jepsen
RHP Fernando Salas
RHP Michael Kohn
RHP Yoslan Herrera
LHP Nick Maronde
1B Albert Pujols
2B Howie Kendrick
SS Erick Aybar
3B David Freese
INF John McDonald
INF Ian Stewart
LF J.B. Shuck
CF Mike Trout
RF Collin Cowgill/Brennan Boesch
DH Raul Ibanez
- Sports & Recreation
- Raul Ibanez
- Albert Pujols
- Mike Scioscia