Notes: Evans joins Halos
Outfielder's call up the perfect Father's Day present
LOS ANGELES -- For the absent-minded and indifferent that regularly neglect to secure a meaningful Father's Day gift to honor the man responsible for granting them entry into the world, don't fret. Just take a few notes from the Terry Evans book of consolation.Step 1: Get called up from the relative obscurity of life as a Minor League ballplayer to make your professional debut. NOTE: Should said debut be with an American League power that is off to its best start in franchise history, public displays of elation (high-fives with complete strangers, incessant pumping of the fist, etc.) are perfectly acceptable. Step 2: Offer a game ticket to your father as compensation for previous Father's Day mishaps, whether deliberate or accidental. Step 3: Smile. This is a pretty big deal. The 25-year-old Evans, an outfielder for Triple-A Salt Lake, did just that upon receiving a call from the Angels following a 4-3 loss to Portland on Saturday. In the loss, Evans blasted his 10th home run, inflating his average and slugging percentage to .327 and .556, respectively. "I told him, 'I didn't get you anything for Father's Day, but I was wondering if a Dodger ticket would do tomorrow,'" Evans said. "He was super excited. He's flying out [from Georgia] to see me, so I get to spend some time with him tonight. ... It's obviously the best Father's Day gift he's ever gotten." Evans replaced outfielder Garret Anderson, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list after aggravating his right hip flexor tendon in a 3-0 win against the rival Dodgers on Saturday. The Dublin, Ga., native had two hours after receiving the call to make his way to his hotel, pack his belongings and catch a flight to Los Angeles. "I had to hurry up," Evans said. "Everything happened so fast. Once you tell one person -- I'm from a small town -- everybody starts to find out, and everybody starts calling your phone. Once I finally got on the plane and had to turn my phone off, I just sat there for a while. I just felt a lot of excitement. I was anxious to play." Angels manager Mike Scioscia did not reveal immediate plans for Evans but said that Evans would "provide depth in the outfield." "He's playing very well in Triple-A, and he'll give us some coverage in all three outfield positions. Right now, we've got some bats on our bench that need to play."
Evans, primarily a center and right fielder, has seen some limited action at left. But the "bats on the bench" Scioscia alluded to -- the triumvirate of terror in outfielders Gary Matthews Jr., Reggie Willits and Vladimir Guerrero, as well as designated hitter and apt replacement Shea Hillenbrand -- will be difficult to ignore when trying to appoint a clearly defined role for the unproven addition."When they tell me I'll play, I'll play and be happy," Evans said. "Otherwise, I'll just sit and root for the guys and be just as happy." Don't sleep on 'em: With Guerrero continuing his stranglehold on the All-Star voting lead for American League outfielders, Willits has dipped below the radar while quietly amassing an impressive resume that may yield Rookie of the Year honors. Heading into Sunday's contest, Willits leads AL rookies in batting average (.324), stolen bases (16) and runs scored (33). He is second amongst rookies in hits (54, tied) and on-base percentage (.424), while leading the AL in percentage of pitches taken with 68 percent -- 606 taken of 893 seen. Remember the time: First baseman Casey Kotchman, forced out of Saturday's game with a concussion after being hit in the helmet with a ball on an attempted pickoff throw at second base, brought back memories of a similarly jarring collision Scioscia suffered as a catcher with the Dodgers in July 1985. While playing against St. Louis, Scioscia was knocked unconscious by Jack Clark at home plate but was able to hang on to the ball for the out. "I don't think I've recovered yet," Scioscia joked. "Sometimes I still wake up and think we're in a pennant race that year." Favorite hue is baby blue: In commemoration of Father's Day, powder blue wristbands were distributed in the clubhouse adorned with the word "Dad." Many of the Angels were seen sporting the new wristbands. Up next: John Lackey (10-4, 2.53 ERA) looks to extend his Major League-leading 10 wins against Houston's Chris Sampson (6-5, 3.29) to start a nine-game homestand at Angel Stadium on Monday at 7:05 p.m. PT.
Larry Santana is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.