MINNEAPOLIS – With infielder Maicer Izturis making his third trip of the season to the disabled list, this time with inflammation in the right shoulder region, the Angels have selected the contract of right-handed reliever Jordan Walden from Triple-A Salt Lake.
Walden, the club said, would be available in the bullpen for Sunday night’s series finale against the Twins at Target Field.
Walden, 22, hails from Fort Worth, Tex., and was considered the Angels’ premier pitching prospect before injuries delayed his progress.
Equipped with a hard, heavy fastball that can reach the high 90s on radar readings, Walden began the season at Double-A Arkansas, where he was 1-1 with a 3.35 ERA in 38 games, throwing 43 1/3 innings.
Promoted to Salt Lake, the 6-foot-5 athlete made six appearances with a 4.05 ERA in 6 2/3 innings, giving up five baserunners while striking out six hitters.
Izturis jammed the shoulder diving for a ball in Boston on Thursday night and reported that he felt some soreness in the lower area of the shoulder while taking batting practice on Friday at Target Field.
He expressed confidence that it was “nothing serious,” adding that he thought he would be able to play on Saturday.
But the pain persisted, and the Angels decided their versatile infielder needed to return to the DL.
He made his first visit there on May 6 with right shoulder inflammation – in a different location than the current injury – and missed 18 games. His second trip to the DL came on June 16 with a strained left forearm that caused him to miss 27 games.
Izturis is in the first year of a three-year, $10 million contract he signed over the winter.
He’s batting .245 with three homers and 25 RBIs in 56 games, committing only two errors in 53 games combined at third base, shortstop and second base.
Izturis is a .323 lifetime hitter with runners in scoring position and is batting .294 this season in those situations.
Izturis’ absence could create more playing time for Brandon Wood on the left side of the infield and also at first base. — Lyle Spencer