And to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Velazquez, outfielder Logan Morrison (right knee inflammation) was moved to the 60-day disabled list.
Velazquez last appeared in the Majors on Sept. 28, 2011, with the Angels. He was hitting .314 in 101 games with New Orleans, with three homers and 37 RBIs and a .392 on-base percentage.
He made an adjustment in Spring Training last year and credits Jim Eppard, now the Angels' hitting coach but then their roving Minor League hitting coordinator, with dropping his hands so Velazquez is better able to get the barrel of the bat on the ball.
In other injury news, outfielder Justin Ruggiano, who left Wednesday's game with a right oblique strain and has lower back stiffness, did not take batting practice Thursday. He said he hopes to hit off a tee Friday and perhaps play Sunday.
"I'm hoping I'm in there for the last game at least," Ruggiano said of the four-game series at Coors Field. "That's what I'm shooting for in my mind."