ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Tim Salmon earned a spot on the Los Angeles Angels' Opening Day roster Saturday.
The announcement was made Saturday night after the second game
of the Freeway Series against the Dodgers. It was probably the
worst-kept secret in Angels Stadium.
"It's official," Salmon said with a laugh. "I don't want to
come off as cocky, but I kind of halfway expected it. When I
actually heard it for the first time, it was just relief."
The 37-year-old was batting .346 with four home runs and 10 RBI in 19 games, including a first-pitch homer as a pinch-hitter Friday night. A 14-year veteran whose 290 homers are the most in Angels history, Salmon was on the brink of retirement after missing almost 1½ seasons because of injuries to his left shoulder and left knee.
He needs to play in 66 games to Brian Downing's franchise record of 1,661, and is 11 RBI shy of 1,000 for his career.
In a blog he published from training camp on ESPN.com, Salmon
wrote about his attempt to make the Angels' roster one last time after a long struggle to recover from his injuries. He accepted a $400,000 minor-league contract in his attempt to make the major leagues one more time.
"I've kind of approached this spring as my last hurrah. I worked hard this winter, with all the rehab, and this is the reward for all the work I've done the last 16 months," he wrote in his first entry. "I'll just give it everything I've got, and if I make the team, great. I deserve it. If I don't, that's great, too. I did everything I could. There's no real negative ... I've had a nice long career. I've gotten to win a World Series. I've been blessed more than I've ever dreamed."
Salmon will be used as a DH and backup outfielder. There was
speculation he might not make the club had left fielder Garret
Anderson's sore heel limited him to DH duty. But Anderson is back
in the outfield, opening up a slot for Salmon -- whose club records
for RBI, total bases and extra-base hits were broken by Anderson
To make room for Salmon on the 40-man roster, the Angels
designated right-hander Scott Dunn for assignment. They also
reassigned infielders Dallas McPherson, Kendry Morales and Brian
Specht to their minor league camp, along with outfielder Curtis
Pride, catcher Mike Napoli and pitchers Kevin Gregg and Jered
The Associated Press contributed to this story.