Morales' turn
Kendry Morales

Posted May 23, 2006


Howie Kendrick, whom the Angels view as a possible future major league batting champion, was called up by the Angels briefly and is now back at Triple-A Salt Lake.

Jeff Mathis, regarded as the Angels' top catching prospect during spring training, is currently his Salt Lake teammate.

Now the Angels have decided to see what Kendry Morales can do. One month short of his 23rd birthday, the power-hitting first baseman has been called up.

Morales is a switch-hitter who started slowly this season but raised his batting average to .318 in 40 games with five home runs. Since the off-season, when the Angels looked into making a trade for a power threat, Morales has been an option, and he was their property. The question was how much minor league experience did he need?

Morales, who was born in Cuba, defected to the United States on June 8, 2004, didn't play that season, played at Class A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Arkansas in 2005 and now just briefly in Triple-A.

Ideally, he would have been left in the minors longer, but the Angels, on a six-game losing streak and in last place, decided not to wait.

REPLAY: The Angels lost their sixth consecutive game by failing to hold onto a 2-0 lead or extending it in the sixth inning when they had the bases loaded with one out. The Rangers then scored three in the seventh for a 3-2 victory.

The Angels are 5-15 in May with a 17-28 overall record and are 6-1/2 games out of first base.



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