TEMPE, Ariz. -- Dustin Moseley probably will replace the injured John Lackey in the rotation to start the season, but even Moseley knows he can't replace the intangibles Lackey brings.
"Every start he went out there last year, we had a feeling we were going to win," Moseley said. "You just have faith in him and in the consistency he showed all year, and in the work he puts in off the field.
"With all that, you just expect success from the guy. He's been around, he's got the experience, he learns, he works his butt off, he goes out there and he gets fired up, man. It's a beautiful thing, knowing he's prepared himself and knowing he's going to do it."
Can Moseley, who went 4-3 with a 4.40 earned-run average in 46 games last season and underwent ulnar nerve relocation surgery in October, give the Angels a similar feeling when he takes the mound?
"I hope so," he said.
The Angels would gladly settle for Moseley's giving them a chance to win. With Lackey (elbow injury) and Kelvim Escobar (sore shoulder) out until at least May, the Angels don't want Moseley, who will start today's exhibition against Milwaukee, or their other young starters feeling pressure to perform beyond their capabilities.
But after Lackey (19-9 last season) joined Escobar (18-7) on the sidelines Saturday, left-hander Joe Saunders said, "We're going to have to step up our game." And Moseley said, "The young guys have to step up and fill the voids."
This might be the wrong approach, veteran right-hander Jon Garland said.
"That's when you get in trouble, when you start to press," Garland said Monday after throwing five innings in a triple-A game against Milwaukee. "Hopefully the rest of the team doesn't think it has to pick things up, because we've got plenty of guys who can step in and do the job.
"If you just relax, throw strikes, keep the team within striking distance, you'll have a great chance with this lineup and defense. Usually, when you try harder, bad things happen. If you don't try to do too much and let it happen, that's when big things happen."
Men at work
While most of the Angels enjoyed their only off day of the spring, Garland and catcher Mike Napoli played against the Brewers' triple-A team. Garland gave up three runs and eight hits, struck out five and walked none, throwing 73 pitches, 49 for strikes.
"No walks, I threw strikes, I made them put it in play, everything felt good in my hand . . . it went well," Garland said.
Garland will stretch his arm to the 90-pitch range in his next start Saturday, but it probably will be in another triple-A game instead of against the Dodgers in Phoenix.
The Angels want to extend Garland in a more controlled environment, and they don't want Garland facing the Dodgers twice in six days. Garland is scheduled to pitch against the Dodgers in Angel Stadium on March 27.
An MRI test showed that catching prospect Hank Conger, the Angels' first-round pick in 2005, has a shoulder tear that will sideline the switch-hitter for at least a month. Though surgery is a possibility, Conger, who is expected to play at Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, will first try to rehabilitate the shoulder. He probably will remain in Arizona for extended spring training when the Angels break camp in early April. . . . While Moseley pitches against the Brewers today, Saunders will start in a triple-A game.