Haynes debut a hit
Tommy Murphy was returned to Triple-A
Tommy Murphy was returned to Triple-A

Posted May 29, 2007

Ten years after he was a first-round draft pick and eight years after he was a coveted piece of a trade between the Angels and Oakland A's, outfielder Nathan Haynes finally made his major-league debut, and singled in his first major-league at-bat.

Nathan Haynes was promoted from Class AAA Monday, replacing Tommy Murphy, who was returned to the minors. The shuffle is a familiar move by the Angels, who like to rotate young players through the final spots on their bench, never keeping them for long so they don't get stagnant from limited playing time. Murphy, Haynes, Matt Brown, Brandon Wood and Kendry Morales have all been up and down between the minor leagues in that role.

"Tommy needs to play every day," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Murphy, who is 6-for-34 (.176) in 14 games over two stints with the Angels this season. "Nathan can do some of the things Tommy was doing when he was up here. He has a lot of talent that will play in the big leagues."

That's probably what the A's thought when they made him their first-round pick (the 32nd player chosen overall) in 1997. The speedy, left-handed outfielder was traded to the Angels at the trade deadline in 1999 as part of a deal that sent veterans Randy Velarde and Omar Olivares to the A's.

It was a rocky road for Haynes from there. He has undergone surgery eight times for an assortment of injuries -- two sports hernias, three knee surgeries, a torn labrum in his shoulder and torn ligaments in his left hand. He bounced from the Angels' farm system to the San Francisco Giants' and briefly to an independent team in Gary, Ind. last season before he was re-signed by the Angels.

This season, however, the 27-year-old Haynes was leading the Class AAA Pacific Coast League with a .391 batting average when the Angels called him up for his first taste of the major leagues.

With the Angels getting blown out by the Seattle Mariners Monday, Haynes entered the game on defense in the eighth inning and got a broken-bat single up the middle in his first major-league at-bat an inning later.

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