Maybin heads out on rehab assignment

Maybin heads out on rehab assignment

ANAHEIM --- The Angels could get a key offensive catalyst back in their lineup soon, as left fielder Cameron Maybin is headed out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake.

The Angels, who were three games behind the Royals for the second Wild Card in the American League entering play Thursday, could benefit from Maybin's speed on the basepaths.

Maybin, who was placed on the disabled list on July 19 with a MCL sprain in his right knee, is batting .238 this season with six homers and leads the team in stolen bases with 25. The 30-year-old sustained the inijury July 18 after sliding feet-first on an attempted steal.

Manager Mike Scioscia said Maybin will play for Salt Lake on Friday and Saturday.

"We'll see how feels coming out of it," Scioscia said. "He's going to play tomorrow and definitely play on Saturday and we'll evaluate him and see, just see exactly where he is."

Richards cleared to throw off mound
Garrett Richards received the go-ahead to throw off the mound, manager Mike Scioscia said after the Angels defeated the Phillies on Thursday. Richards will throw a bullpen session Friday or Saturday, marking the first time he's been cleared to throw off the mound since April 5.

Richards has battled injury issues, missing most of the 2016 season recovering from a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, but had a dominant outing in his season debut against the A's on April 5, before leaving the game in the fifth inning with a biceps cramp.

Scioscia said the club has no plans of putting him in the bullpen when he is healthy enough to return and plans to continue to take his rehab "one step at a time." "I think that he's a starter," Scioscia said. "I think it would be the wrong move to move him the bullpen. It'll [put] more stress on his arm than he's used to."

Worth noting
Kole Calhoun ran 100 percent before Thursday's game and Scioscia expect him back in the starting lineup soon after he had hamstring soreness that forced him to leave a game Sunday. He appeared as a pinch-hitter on Thursday, knocking in the tying run.

Yunel Escobar feels better and will do a few baseball activities soon. Escobar, listed as day to day with upper back tightness, will go through a workout Friday to see how he is feeling before Scioscia inserts him back into the lineup.

Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.