Turns out, it's a bit premature for the Texas Rangers to begin arranging their rotation for the playoffs.
A day after new acquisition Dan Haren was smoked in the pitching arm by a line drive, the Angels are hopeful that he will make his next start as scheduled. Which happens to be Saturday night against the Rangers, who lead the Angels by a tidy 7 1/2 games in the AL West.
It is the largest margin of any of the six divisions.
Haren, wearing a compression wrap on his right forearm, underwent X-rays on Tuesday and said "they didn't show anything. They looked clear."
Then he not only did his usual day-after throwing routine, he added to it. During a long-toss session of throwing baseballs 150-to-200 feet with pitching coach Mike Butcher, Haren said he mixed in some cutters and curveballs just to see how it would feel.
"Pretty good," he said. "No restrictions."
"Right now, we'll see how he progresses in the next day or two, but we're optimistic he'll make his next start," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Haren said he always plays long toss on the day after he pitches, but after coming out of Monday's game following only 62 pitches, he did more than usual on Tuesday.
It definitely was a hold-your-breath moment for the Angels, who had just acquired Haren from Arizona on Sunday. It was in the fifth inning of Monday's 6-3 loss to Boston that Kevin Youkilis rifled a line drive back through the box. Haren turned reflexively, raised his arms to protect his head and the baseball ricocheted off of his right forearm.
"The doctor said an inch lower and it would have been on the bone, and that wouldn't have been good," said Haren, who has never spent one day on the disabled list in his eight-year career. "I guess I got lucky. I've never come out of a game in my professional career like yesterday.
"I was frustrated, but I guess I'm lucky, too."