Hunter expected to return to Angels

OAKLAND, Calif. — After two weeks on the restricted list, Los Angeles Angels right fielder Torii Hunter is expected to rejoin the team early next week, according to reports from Angels manager Mike Scioscia.

Scioscia said Hunter, who is batting .256 with five home runs and 15 runs batted in, has been throwing, running and hitting but will probably need to work out for a day or two in Anaheim before returning to the lineup.

Hunter, a Pine Bluff native, left the team last week to deal with the arrest of his 17-year old son, Darius McClinton-Hunter. McClinton-Hunter was arrested for sexual assault.

The Angels were not required to pay Hunter during his 10-day absence but a person familiar with the situation said he would receive his full compensation. Hunter makes $18 million per year, $1.5 million during his absence.

Hunter has been working out, running, throwing and hitting in the batting cage at his house near Dallas. He may need a couple of days work before returning to the lineup, according to Scioscia.

Wednesday’s series finale against the Athletics at Oakland Coliseum marked the 10th game Hunter was absent for, with Mark Trumbo getting the bulk of the playing time in right field. Without him, and with Vernon Wells (thumb surgery) on the disabled list, the Angels are thin in their outfield and without one of their middle-of-the-order bats. Indirectly, Hunter’s absence has provided the Angels with a taste of what it will be like when he’s gone, which — considering he’s in the final year of his contract and the Angels have some young outfielders they need to make room for — could very well be this offseason.

When Hunter does depart, somebody else, or a group of others, will need to fill the leadership void. At this moment, though, the Angels have gone out of their way to publicly say Hunter, who’s batting .256 with five homers and 15 RBIs in 33 games, needs to take his time.