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ANGELS FYI

Have some extra cash? Angels want to keep you in the picture

The Angels are offering 36 seats in areas reserved for photographers during the playoffs at the cost of $215 a game.

March 17, 2009|Bill Shaikin

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. — The most expensive seat at Angel Stadium this season will not be behind home plate.

The Angels are offering 36 seats in areas reserved for photographers during the playoffs, with 18 just beyond the Angels' dugout and 18 just beyond the visiting dugout.

"You're sitting right on the warning track," said Robert Alvarado, vice president of marketing and ticket sales. "You feel like you're literally on the field."

The seats cost $215 a game, and for now the Angels are selling them in eight-game packages, with about 60% already sold, Alvarado said. The seats will not be available for the playoffs because baseball rules require the Angels to accommodate photographers in that space.

The front-row seats behind home plate, albeit behind a protective screen, cost $200 a game.

Out of time?

The Angels open the season in 20 days, and Mike Napoli does not appear close to catching in a Cactus League game. Napoli has been used at designated hitter while he rehabilitates his surgically repaired shoulder.

"I'm looking to be ready for opening day," Napoli said Monday before the Angels' 8-5 victory over the San Francisco Giants. "There haven't been any setbacks."

The Angels hope Napoli soon can play in minor league exhibitions, in which the team can limit his throwing or start and stop innings as desired.

If he is not ready to catch at the start of the season, the Angels could leave him in extended spring training, send him on a minor league rehabilitation assignment or keep him on the major league roster as a DH while he works out at catcher.

Manager Mike Scioscia said Napoli's making the opening day roster was "a possibility" but not the top priority.

"Our goal with Mike is to get him available to catch every day," Scioscia said.

Cy of relief

The Giants were the home team Monday, but they agreed to use a designated hitter.

Nick Adenhart, the Angels' starting pitcher, was not immediately aware of that. He was excited about the rare chance to hit -- until he found out the Giants' scheduled starter was Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum.

"I was like, 'No, no, no,' " Adenhart said. "Then I saw there was a DH and I calmed down."

Lincecum was a late scratch anyway, because of bronchitis.

Adenhart gave up four runs in 3 1/3 innings, with Shane Loux following him and giving up one run over 3 2/3 innings.

Although Loux worked in relief, Scioscia said he had not fallen behind Adenhart and Dustin Moseley in the competition for the two vacancies in the Angels' rotation.

Loux has a 0.84 earned-run average in 10 2/3 innings, Moseley 4.00 in nine innings, Adenhart 5.40 in 8 1/3 innings.

Loux and Moseley are out of options; the Angels could send Adenhart to the minor leagues without risk of losing him.

Short hops

Angels catcher Ben Johnson broke a 5-5 tie with a two-run double in the eighth inning. Torii Hunter and Howie Kendrick also had two-run doubles. Kendrick is batting .455 this spring. . . . Kelvim Escobar, coming off shoulder surgery, threw batting practice for the first time and could pitch in a Cactus League game as soon as Sunday. The Angels hope he can join their rotation in May.

At Scottsdale Stadium, the spring home of the Giants, the concourse features 23 plaques, honoring each inductee into the Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame. The Angels are represented by Scioscia, Garret Anderson and Troy Percival. The Giants are represented by former manager Dusty Baker -- but by no players.

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bill.shaikin@latimes.com

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