First baseman Casey Kotchman and third baseman Dallas McPherson each began rehab assignments with Salt Lake City on Thursday, the same day Bees outfielder Nick Gorneault returned to the field less than a month after breaking his kneecap.
Kotchman, who hit just .152 in 29 games early in the year before going on the disabled list with complications from mononucleosis, had been working out in Arizona for the last month trying to get back to playing condition. In his first two games back, he is 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI while playing first base. He has left each contest after three innings.
McPherson began the year with Salt Lake before taking Kotchman's spot on the major league roster when he went down in early May. The left-handed slugger hit .266 with a .468 slugging percentage for the Halos before the same balky back which has derailed his efforts to become an everyday player for the Angels over the past two season once again siezed up.
McPherson has been on the disabled list since June 25 and, although he was eligible to come off nearly two weeks ago, just returned to the field as well.
In his first two games out for the Bees, the former second round pick is 1-for-7 while playing one game in the field and the other at DH.
Both players will get several more looks at Salt Lake before the Angels are prepared to make a decision about either one.
On the same night that Salt Lake got a boost from the big-leaguers, they got a remarkable return from one of their own. Outfielder Nick Gorneault, who broke his kneecap on a play on June 18, returned to the lineup just 25 days later and went 0-for-2 on Thursday while DHing. Although the slugger isn't expected to play the field for a while, his return gives Salt Lake a core middle-of-the-lineup bat as they look to solidify their lead in the Northwest Division.