Angels place Colon on 15-day DL

Angels place Colon on 15-day DL

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Angels placed Bartolo Colon on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with inflammation in his right shoulder, retroactive to Sunday.

Right-hander Hector Carrasco will take Colon's spot in the rotation and start against the Twins in Thursday's series finale. Kevin Gregg was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake to fill the vacancy on the 25-man roster.

Colon, who is 0-2 with a 7.07 ERA in three starts this season, was examined by Dr. John Steubs, the Twins' orthopedist consultant. Colon also had an MRI, which showed swelling in the shoulder caused by scarring from the shoulder strain he suffered last October, but no new tears. He will be eligible to return May 1.

"The early signs say that he probably will be able to come back then; that's what it looks like," general manager Bill Stoneman said. "We're certainly hopeful of that. You don't even know for sure. The information I've gotten, to this point, I view as positive. There's nothing new in there and nothing that's torn."

It was only the second time Colon has been placed on the DL in his career. In 2000 while pitching with the Indians, Colon suffered a left oblique strain.

Last season was Colon's best, as he went 21-8 en route to his first Cy Young Award, but he also suffered from a lower back strain and then strained his right shoulder in Game 5 of the ALDS against the Yankees. Colon left the mound in that start during the second inning.

Tests taken then revealed the strain and Colon spent the offseason rehabbing his shoulder. After reporting to camp in what he said was his best shape since joining the Angels before the 2004 season, he pitched for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, where he was 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA in three starts. Colon also held Cuba scoreless over six innings in one semifinal but took a no-decision.

"You never like to see a guy bothered by any discomfort, but on the other hand, we recognize that when you heal from a small tear or something like that, scar tissue then builds up," Stoneman said. "Sometimes, you've got to work through it. He's going to be going through some rehab so he can pitch again. He's got to get through some scar tissue."

The Angels signed Carrasco to a two-year, $6.1 million free agent deal this offseason to fill one of the spots in the rotation vacated by the departures of Jarrod Washburn and Paul Byrd. After Jeff Weaver signed in February, Carrasco moved to the bullpen, where he is a spot starter and dedicated long man.

Carrasco has made four appearances this season and posted a 2.89 ERA over 9 1/3 innings, but this will be his first start this season.

"I know something is not good, because I know Bartolo hurt his shoulder," said Carrasco, who found out he was starting during batting practice at the Metrodome on Wednesday afternoon. "Hopefully he will be back soon, because we need him."

Gregg will take Carrasco's slot as the long man in the bullpen while Colon is on the DL. The right-hander has a 1-0 mark and has not allowed a run in three appearances at Salt Lake this season, making two starts. Gregg went 1-2 with a 5.04 ERA with the Angels last season in 33 appearances.

"Kevin Gregg had two very good starts and is deserving of the recall, but like I said it could be any of them," Stoneman said of a talented group at Salt Lake. "We thought Kevin was the guy that fit best. He was doing well. He was the guy that looked best positioned."

Mike Scarr is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.