BOSTON — When Mike Scioscia was asked about the setback Tyler Skaggs suffered in his rehab from a strained oblique, the Angels manager’s answers were short, and ominous.
“It’s disturbing,” Scioscia said.
Pressed further, he added: “Frustrating.”
Skaggs has been out eight weeks, still short of the 10- to 12-week window originally expected for his rehab. He was scheduled pitch his first rehab game on Saturday in the Arizona League, but he had to be scratched because he reported “general soreness in his oblique and abdominal area,” the Angels announced.
Skaggs was able to resume throwing on Sunday, general manager Billy Eppler said.
Scioscia conceded that the Skaggs’ planned return the weekend of July 8 is now out, and he said he’s not even sure if he’ll be back sometime in July.
“I think it’s impossible to make any determination now,” Scioscia said.
The Angels recalled Kaleb Cowart from Triple-A and optioned reliever Eduardo Paredes, a move spurred by Yunel Escobar’s thumb injury. Escobar was hurt on a diving play on Friday night. Scioscia said Sunday that he was improving, though.
Cowart was in the lineup at third on Sunday, but he could fill in a variety of roles for as long as he’s in the majors. He played mostly third at Triple-A, with some second and a little bit of first.
The Angels haven’t gotten much offense out of second base this season, and since they sent down C.J. Cron, they don’t have a first baseman who can hit right-handed. Cowart is a switch-hitter whose swing from the right side has improved lately, Scioscia said.
Cowart hit .315 with a .387 on-base percentage this season at Triple-A, including hitting for the cycle earlier this week. Against lefties, he hit .333 with a .429 on-base percentage.
Cowart said his biggest overall improvement has been his plate discipline.
“Just continuing to get my pitch,” he said. “Stay on the opposite field and get that pitch. Not going up there…