Angels acquire reliever Magnifico from O's

Angels acquire reliever Magnifico from O's

ANAHEIM -- The Angels bolstered their pitching depth in the upper Minors on Saturday by acquiring right-handed reliever Damien Magnifico from the Orioles in exchange for right-hander Jordan Kipper.

Magnifico, 25, was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake, with right-hander Jose Valdez being designated for assignment to create space on the Halos' 40-man roster.

Magnifico, a fifth-round Draft pick of the Mets in 2009, began the '17 season with the Brewers, working 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the club's Triple-A affiliate before being dealt to the Orioles for an international bonus slot on April 13. After joining Baltimore, Magnifico logged a 9.95 ERA in five games at Triple-A Norfolk.

"I know he's got a big arm," manager Mike Scioscia said Saturday.

Magnifico has a 3.82 career ERA in the Minors and broke into the Majors for the first time last year, allowing two runs over three innings in three relief appearances for the Brewers.

Kipper, 24, was a ninth-round pick of the Angels in the '14 Draft and had recorded a 1.74 ERA in five starts for Double-A Mobile this season.

Espinosa sits

Second baseman Danny Espinosa, who is mired in a 2-for-44 funk and is hitless in his last 25 at-bats, was out of Saturday's lineup against the Astros. Espinosa, whose batting average has sunk to .158 with a .218 on-base percentage, took early batting practice to try to work on some timing issues.

"When my timing is there, I hit the ball hard, but it needs to be more consistent," the switch-hitting Espinosa said. "The more consistent my timing is, the more consistent that will happen. The more that happens, the more base hits."

Espinosa added that he believes his slump is "probably more mental than anything."

"Danny has been searching," said Scioscia, who was on hand for Espinosa's batting practice. "This game is tough at times."

Infielder Cliff Pennington started at second in Espinosa's place on Saturday.

Worth noting

• First baseman C.J. Cron (left foot contusion) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake on Sunday. Cron is eligible to come off the disabled list on May 9, but Scioscia said the Angels still have not determined how many rehab games he'll need before being activated.

"We're going to start with the first one and see where it goes," Scioscia said. "It's good for him to get some at-bats instead of sitting around. He felt pretty good working out yesterday. His foot feels good."

• Right-hander Andrew Bailey threw his second bullpen session since recovering from right shoulder inflammation on Friday. Fellow reliever Cam Bedrosian, who has been sidelined with a right groin strain, has progressed to playing catch from 90 to 100 feet but has not yet thrown off the mound.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.