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Weaving his way to the big leagues
05/26/2006 2:17 PM ET
ANAHEIM -- The Angels breathed life into their most anticipated move of the season Friday when they brought up Jered Weaver.

To make room for Weaver on the roster, the Angels designated right-handed reliever Esteban Yan for assignment.

Ever since the Angels named Weaver their first selection in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, the question was never if the right-hander would make it to the big leagues but when. After declining the Angels' initial offer, Weaver effectively delayed his arrival for nearly a year by sitting out before signing a Minor League contract with a $4 million bonus last May 30.

The wait is over, as Weaver will make his Major League debut Saturday night against the Orioles. Kevin Gregg has been moved to the bullpen and Ervin Santana had his start moved up to Friday.

"I couldn't get much sleep last night," Weaver said. "I've been waiting for batting practice to start for it seems like six hours, but I've only been here for an hour."

Weaver made himself virtually impossible to ignore. After a strong showing in Spring Training, the 23-year-old was 4-1 with one shutout and a 1.89 ERA in nine appearances, eight of which were starts, at Triple-A Salt Lake.

With the Bees this season, Weaver proved that his layoff was officially behind him by issuing just eight walks in 57 innings while striking out 66. He also tied Gregg for a Salt Lake franchise record with 27 1/3 straight scoreless innings.

"It took awhile to knock the rust off, but now I feel back to where I was when I left college," Weaver said.

At Long Beach State, Weaver went 37-9 with a 2.43 ERA in three seasons and set a school record with 431 career strikeouts.

Weaver inherits the vacancy left by staff ace Bartolo Colon, who has been on the disabled list since April 16 with soreness in his right shoulder. Hector Carrasco and Gregg each made three starts in Colon's place, but the spot now belongs to Weaver, who will be given the chance to prove he belongs.

"This gives us a power arm. We get the opportunity to see how it plays in the big leagues," manager Mike Scioscia said. "I'm going to give him enough looks to see if he is comfortable to make pitches. Hopefully, we will be in a position to make a decision [when Colon returns], because that means everyone is pitching well."

Yan, who is making $1.25 million in the second year of a two-year deal, had a 6.85 ERA and did not record a decision in 13 appearances with the Angels this season.

Jered Weaver joins his big brother Jeff on the ballclub, and they appeared to be going in opposite directions performance-wise until Wednesday in Texas.

Jeff Weaver has struggled in the early going this season, but he settled down in his last start, when he allowed three runs on five hits over six innings for the win against the Rangers. The Angels have insisted they are not looking to bump the elder Weaver from the rotation, but the emergence of his little brother could force some adjustments.

It was all smiles Friday in the clubhouse, though, as Jeff Weaver anticipated Jered's start on Saturday.

"I'll be really excited for him," Jeff Weaver said. "When some guys get on base, I might get a little nervous, but my confidence will be high."

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.