Struggling Wood could land on DL

Updated: May 24, 2010, 10:01 PM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

ANAHEIM -- The short-term solution to the Brandon Wood dilemma could be to place the struggling young third baseman on the 15-day disabled list.

Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Wood aggravated a nagging hip-flexor injury while making a tag Sunday in St. Louis and Scioscia didn't rule out the possibility of placing Wood on the DL when Maicer Izturis returns, possibly as early as Tuesday.

"We'll have to wait and see how he feels," Scioscia said.

Wood, who is batting .156 with three extra-base hits in 122 at-bats, spent the first six weeks as the Angels' everyday third baseman, but utility infielder Kevin Frandsen has started four of the Angels' last five games. When Izturis returns, he could get the bulk of the playing time at third base with Frandsen moving into the backup infielder role.

Placing Wood on the DL would allow the Angels to remove him from the 25-man roster temporarily while keeping him in the organization. He is out of options, meaning he would have to clear waivers before accepting a minor league assignment.

"When Brandon starts to swing the bat like he can, he's a guy we're very excited about," Scioscia said. "I don't know if we're ready to give up on that. I do know that it'll take a little pressure off a lot of guys with Izzy back in the lineup."

Izturis took infield practice and made throws at third base Monday and said he felt no pain in the inflamed right shoulder that landed him on the DL early this month.

Wood, 25, admits to being frustrated that the effort he is putting in during pregame batting practice has not been paying off in games. He said he's not concerned that his opportunity to be an everyday player is coming to an end.

"I don't think the window's closing on me," Wood said. "It's a matter that I've gotten off to a horrible start. I think everybody knows that it's a horrible start. I know I'm not a buck-56 hitter with two home runs and however many extra-base hits. I know I'm better than that and I know the organization knows that this is just an unusually bad start."

As usual in baseball, one player's misfortune is another player's gain. Frandsen, 27, was supposed to be the San Francisco Giants' everyday second baseman in 2008, but he ruptured his Achilles tendon near the end of spring training and missed the entire season. Then, he batted .140 in 23 games in 2009 and was traded to the Boston Red Sox. The Angels claimed him off waivers from Boston on April 29.

"You have to relish the time you get to play, whether it's every day or in a backup role," Frandsen said. "I am enjoying it. I waited patiently for years for the chance to play."

Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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