ANAHEIM -- General manager Tony Reagins said on Monday the Angels are "firmly" in the division race and that, despite having already dealt for third baseman Alberto Callaspo and right-hander Dan Haren over the last five days, he'll continue to look for ways to improve the club.Reagins wouldn't talk specifics but hinted he might not be done dealing before the July 31 Trade Deadline. "We just have to stay diligent and communicate well with the other clubs when those opportunities arrive," Reagins said. He also discussed the trade for Haren, noting that Haren's peripheral statistics such as his 4.86 strikeout-to-walk ratio, which is tied for the fourth-best mark in the Majors, indicate he's pitched much better than his 7-8 record and 4.60 ERA suggests. "This guy is a top-of-the-rotation guy who can give you innings," Reagins said. "His strikeouts to walks are right where you want them to be. He's a competitor, and that's what we need. It's a shot in the arm for this club."
Catchers, Haren meet to get on same page
ANAHEIM -- With new addition Dan Haren making his Angels debut just one day after being acquired in a trade with the D-backs, the Angels held a special meeting before Monday's game against the Red Sox to acquaint Haren with catchers Jeff Mathis, Mike Napoli and Bobby Wilson.The pregame meeting, which also featured Angels manager Mike Scioscia and pitching coach Mike Butcher, was just a way for the Angels coaching staff and the catchers to get a feel for how Haren pitches. "We wanted to get an understanding of basically how he likes to pitch, what he likes to throw in certain counts, where the catcher sets up," Scioscia said. "That pitcher-catcher communication is an ongoing thing so we wanted to start it and we'll keep going with it. They'll plenty of conversations so that we're all moving in the right direction." Haren's first batterymate was Mathis, who said he was excited to catch Haren in his first start with the Angels and that the meeting was a good first step. "We went over some signs and stuff and what he likes to do," Mathis said. "Just from the looks of it, he throws strikes with everything. He uses of all of his pitches and just really knows how to pitch."
Lackey returns to SoCal as a visitor
ANAHEIM -- Red Sox right-hander John Lackey admitted it was a little strange coming to Angel Stadium as a visiting player for the first time since leaving the Angels as a free agent after eight seasons."It's different being on this side of the field," Lackey said. "I had to walk across the field because I wasn't sure where the clubhouse was over here, so it's definitely different." Lackey, who is scheduled to make his first start at Angel Stadium as an opposing player on Tuesday, said he's looking forward to the challenge with the chance to face his former teammates for the second time this year. "It'll be fun," said Lackey, who allowed just one run over seven innings against the Angels at Fenway Park on May 5. "I've won a lot of games at this stadium. I'll be comfortable out there for sure." As for his reception, Lackey said he didn't know how the fans would react, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia had a strong opinion on the matter. "I hope he's welcomed very warmly from our fans," Scioscia said. "John pitched great baseball for us for a long time."
Angels call up Kohn, option Bell
ANAHEIM -- The Angels recalled right-handed reliever Michael Kohn from Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday and optioned right-hander Trevor Bell to the Bees to make room for him on the 25-man roster.The move is expected to bolster the Angels' bullpen depth and comes a day after Bell allowed four runs over 3 1/3 innings against the Rangers in his first start of the season. Bell is expected to continue starting in the Minors after making 15 relief appearances with the Angels this season. Kohn, 24, has been dominant in the Minors this season with a 2.15 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 46 innings, but has to pitch in the Majors after being drafted by the club in the 13th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. "Trevor Bell needs to go down there and continue to start," Scioscia said," and Michael Kohn is a guy who has a power arm and we feel can help our bullpen. He's a youngster but he has great makeup and a great arm and hopefully he'll carve out a role." Additionally, the Angels activated Matt Palmer from the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A.
Kendrick gets extended break
ANAHEIM -- Angels second baseman Howard Kendrick was out of the starting lineup for a second straight day with Maicer Izturis starting in his place, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Kendrick is just getting an extended break because he entered Monday having played in a team-high 96 games."He's been playing a lot, so we're just giving him a little break," Scioscia said. "He's important to us. We're just trying to have a couple of guys catch their breath."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.