ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -The Los Angeles Angels activated right-hander Bartolo Colon from the 15-day disabled list Saturday to make his season debut against the Seattle Mariners, and optioned lefty Joe Saunders to Triple-A Salt Lake.
Colon, the 2005 AL Cy Young winner, was sidelined since July 26, 2006, because of a partial tear in his rotator cuff. He chose to rehab the injury instead of undergoing surgery.
Colon was the Angels' opening day starter in each of the previous three seasons. He was 1-5 with a 5.11 ERA in 10 starts, recording his only victory with a four-hit shutout against the Mariners on July 5 at Seattle.
Saunders was demoted to the minors just one day after pitching six scoreless innings in an 8-4 victory while wearing a Virginia Tech cap to honor the 32 victims in Monday's shooting spree at the Blacksburg, Va., campus.
``Obviously, it's tough for me to go from a big high from last night to getting sent down, but it's a business,'' Saunders said. ``Bartolo's a proven big league pitcher and he's one of the best, but it's still a surprise. You never want to get sent down. It's just not my time right now. I was hoping they would give me a shot in the bullpen, but they don't see me in the pen - and basically, I don't, either. So I'll just go down to Triple-A, pitch my butt off down there and let the chips fall where they may.''
Colon made three minor league rehab starts, allowing two runs over 16 2-3 innings with two walks and 13 strikeouts.
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