ANAHEIM -- Injuries have decimated the Angels' pitching staff throughout the first 44 games of the season. The club has already used 20 pitchers -- the earliest the team has done so -- but the carousel in the bullpen appears to be nearing an end as the Halos are getting healthier.
Prior to Tuesday's game against the Mariners, left-handed reliever Sean Burnett was activated from the 15-day disabled list, with the Angels optioning Ryan Brasier to Triple-A Salt Lake to make room on the 25-man roster.
"It feels good," Burnett said. "This is what I enjoy doing. It's ben three weeks since I've been able to get out there and compete. I'm looking forward to getting out there and hopefully I'll be able to help my team."
Burnett, who had been on the DL since April 28 with left forearm irritation, pitched one inning in a rehab assignment for Class A Inland Empire on Saturday. In 8 2/3 innings this season, Burnett has allowed just one earned run.
Burnett's return will be welcomed to a bullpen that currently has an ERA of 4.47.
While Burnett is the first to return, the Angels' bullpen could receive some more help before the end of the month as Kevin Jepsen and Ryan Madson are also close to joining the Angels. However, an exact date for either's return is still to be determined.
"It's really clear that we're going to get better as the season moves on -- and deeper -- and get a look that's going to help us do what we need to do on the field on a more consistent basis," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Jepsen flew to Salt Lake on Tuesday and is scheduled to make rehab appearances on Wednesday and Friday.
"I feel great, no pain, no restrictions," Jepsen said. "Everything is good. The last outing on Sunday went good, so [I want to] keep it going."
Jepsen already threw in one rehab game -- he pitched one inning for Inland Empire on Sunday -- and said he felt 100 percent and that his fastball was between 94 and 96 mph.
Madson is scheduled to work out at Angel Stadium on Wednesday and then go to Salt Lake on a rehab assignment, as well.
Weaver's return dependent on extended spring game
ANAHEIM -- There's no guarantee that Jered Weaver will rejoin the Angels' rotation after his appearance in Arizona on Wednesday, but manager Mike Scioscia did not rule it out.
"It's possible," Scioscia said.
Weaver is scheduled to pitch in extended spring training action on Wednesday. The Angels hope to see him throw about 70 to 80 pitches in approximately five innings of work.
The way the right-hander feels after that will determine the next step.
"I think if he comes out of this strong and finishes and gets to that level, the next step of six [innings] and 90 [pitches] is something we can consider up here with us," Scioscia said. "But, it's all going to be contingent on how he does in his workout and how he feels coming out of it."
Oklahoma resident Richards' family OK
ANAHEIM -- As the nation learned of the tornado that struck Moore, Okla., on Monday, Angels pitcher Garrett Richards was checking on his family and friends.
"Anytime a major disaster like this happens, your first reaction is to make sure everybody's OK, so that was really my first reaction," Richards said.
All of Richards' family and friends are OK, but the 24-year-old right-hander said tornadoes are simply part of living in the Sooner state.
"It's hard, because you can't control it -- it just kind of happens," Richards said. "In 1999, the same tornado came through Moore. It's something that Oklahomans have to deal with every year, as far as storm season goes."
Richards was born in California, but his family moved to Oklahoma when he was still very young.
Richards attended Edmond Memorial High School, -- approximately a 30-minute drive away from Moore -- went to the University of Oklahoma and still lives in the state.
Although Richards has spent most of his life in Oklahoma, he has been fortunate enough to never experience a tornado firsthand.
"I've been lucky enough that I haven't had to get in a shelter or anything since I've lived there," Richards said. "You stay cautious of it and if it's coming your way, you just take cover the best you can."
• Scott Cousins cleared waivers and is now in Triple-A Salt Lake.
• Angels pitchers have begun hitting in the batting cage as the team has a pair of Interleague games at Dodger Stadium next week. C.J. Wilson and Joe Blanton are tentatively scheduled to start the two contests.
• Tommy Hanson is in Arizona and will face hitters in the next couple of days, but it is still unknown when he will return to the Angels' rotation.
William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.