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Baseball Insider

Don Baylor aims to return to coaching Angels soon

Angels hitting coach Don Baylor, who suffered a broken right leg in a freak first-ball injury, has an appointment to see his doctor Tuesday for a progress checkup on the six-week anniversary of the accident.

Baylor said in a phone interview he is expecting to test the leg Tuesday putting weight on it, and is anxious to get back on the field.

"I'm champing at the bit," Baylor said. "Hopefully, it won't be long."

Baylor suggests his doctor may be reluctant to set a timetable for fear Baylor, who is notoriously tough, will try to beat the prediction. Baylor broke his femur after assuming a catcher's crouched position while receiving a first-ball toss by ex-Angels great Vladimir Guerrero on Opening Day at Angel Stadium. Baylor, the 1979 AL MVP, was the natural choice to receive the throw from Guerrero, who won the MVP as an Angel 25 years later.

Ever since, he's been following the Angels on TV while occasionally making it out to the park. He wants to resume coaching the hitters in his first year in the job as Angels coach.

Baylor, 64, is fourth all time with 267 hit-by-pitches, and it's hard to believe but he never once had to go on the disabled list after any of the HBPs.

"I'm not sure if it was the right thing to do but I'd ice it through the night," Baylor said.

Baylor left his job as Diamondbacks to return to his old team, where he joined manager Mike Scioscia, a partner in the '65 Roses" charity for cystic fibrosis, and GM Jerry Dipoto, who was Baylor's closer when he managed in Colorado after turning them down two years earlier.

Now he is hoping to rejoin them soon.

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