Freese joining first wave of September callups

Angels' top prospect Newcomb isn't expected to be included as rosters expand

Freese joining first wave of September callups

OAKLAND -- David Freese is ready to go, but he wasn't in the Angels' lineup for Monday's series opener against the A's. The veteran third baseman is expected to be activated off the disabled list on Tuesday, the first day rosters expand -- and he'll have plenty of company.

Outfielders Matt Joyce and Collin Cowgill and infielder Taylor Featherston, who have been playing rehab games at Triple-A Salt Lake, are also expected to rejoin the team Tuesday, providing Angels manager Mike Scioscia with additional options for an offense that will finish last in the Majors in every important statistical category for August.

The Angels' top prospect, left-handed pitcher Sean Newcomb, is not expected to be called up.

Freese will resume his role as the everyday third baseman and Joyce, who struggled offensively before suffering a concussion on July 27, could factor in somehow.

Acquired from the Rays for veteran reliever Kevin Jepsen in the middle of December, Joyce posted a .178/.274/.298 slash line in 278 plate appearances before a collision with shortstop Erick Aybar landed him on the shelf. Right around that time, the Angels acquired two left-handed-hitting outfielders in David Murphy and David DeJesus, and it looked as if Joyce, who also hits left-handed, would ultimately get released.

But the 31-year-old entered the week batting .333/.419/.528 with a couple of homers and only nine strikeouts in 43 plate appearances in the Minor Leagues. His presence probably won't change the way Scioscia has been making out the Angels' lineup -- with Murphy in left field and C.J. Cron at designated hitter most days -- but Joyce may serve as an occasional starter against righties and a bat off the bench.

"Of the guys who are on the DL -- you look at Matt Joyce and Collin Cowgill and David Freese -- there's no doubt that on the offensive side we're going to get them at-bats when we can and see if they're guys who can provide a spark," Scioscia said. "David's obviously the most high-profile guy that we're looking to plug back, just plug into third base every day and hopefully be able to drive in runs."

Newcomb, drafted 15th overall in the 2014 Draft, has posted a 2.34 ERA with 162 strikeouts in 131 innings for Class A Burlington, Class A Advanced Inland Empire and Double-A Arkansas. But the burly 22-year-old is also walking five batters per nine innings and the Angels' front office believes he's too early in his development to attempt pitching out of the bullpen in the Major Leagues.

Teams can carry every player on their 40-man roster starting Tuesday. The Angels are expected to call their reinforcements up in two waves, the first on Tuesday and the second on Sept. 8, after the Triple-A season ends.

Starting pitchers Nick Tropeano and Drew Rucinski; reliever Mike Morin; third baseman Kyle Kubitza; and outfielders Efren Navarro and Daniel Robertson will probably all be added at some point. Reliever Cory Rasmus, on the DL with a right forearm strain, is expected to be activated this week. And the Angels will likely bring up either Jett Bandy or Rafael Lopez -- acquired from the Cubs for international slot money on July 3 -- as a third catcher.

The Angels' 40-man roster is full. They'll have to outright someone off it to add Cowgill, since he's currently on the 60-day DL. Veteran sidearm reliever Vinnie Pestano could also be called up, but the Angels would have to open up a spot for him as well.

Worth noting

• Scioscia said Johnny Giavotella's symptoms from an undisclosed illness are "still there" and could not provide a timetable on the second baseman's return. Giavotella can be activated off the DL as early as Saturday, but he isn't with the team on the road trip.

Tyler Skaggs (Tommy John surgery) continues to throw bullpen sessions twice per week and Scioscia said he's throwing his fastball "pretty much all out." He'll probably go to instructional league in late September and potentially pitch a couple of innings there.

• The Angels didn't add anyone outside their organization before the Monday deadline for postseason eligibility. Besides veteran second baseman Chase Utley, the front office was holding out hope for a veteran reliever. But none of the ones available to them through waivers was deemed an upgrade over what they currently have.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.