Evans called up to spell ailing outfield

Evans called up to spell ailing outfield

KANSAS CITY -- The Angels added another body to their stable of outfielders on Wednesday, calling up Terry Evans from Triple-A Salt Lake.

The 27-year-old Evans, who took the place of pitcher Sean O'Sullivan on the 25-man roster, has played in 93 games this season for Salt Lake, hitting .290 with 19 homers and 66 RBIs.

But Evans' most important attribute may be his healthy legs.

The Angels' outfielders have suffered a consistent array of bumps and bruises, and Evans could be considered a safeguard for the latest injury -- Juan Rivera's sore right hamstring.

Rivera, who is hitting .309 with 16 homers and 53 RBIs, is nursing a tight right hamstring and wasn't in the lineup on Wednesday for the fourth game in a row. Rivera hasn't played since Saturday in Oakland, when he left the game early in the third inning.

The Angels, of course, are already missing Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter, who are both on the disabled list and probably won't be fully healthy for another few weeks.

Manager Mike Scioscia said the Angels were still being cautious with Rivera's condition.

"He's feeling better," Scioscia said. "But not well enough to full-time DH yet. We're thinking it might be a couple more days."

Scioscia said the Angels will use the DH spot to ease Rivera back into the lineup. But even if he was DH'ing, Rivera would still have to run the bases and keep his hamstring loose between at-bats, and that's a concern, Scioscia said.

"Your hamstring has to be at a high level to even DH," Scioscia said. "So we're going to monitor it closely."

The rash of injuries presents an opportunity for Evans to get his first Major League at-bat since 2007. Evans, a native of Dublin, Ga., was acquired from the Cardinals' organization in an '06 trade. He appeared in eight games for the Angels in '07 and had one hit in 11 at-bats.

Injuries forced Evans to miss most of the '08 season, and his '09 campaign started slowly. But he rebounded to lead Salt Lake with 24 doubles.

"To pick it up -- and pick it up well enough to get a call up here -- is definitely encouraging," Evans said.

Rustin Dodd is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.