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Bobby Wilson, Terry Evans are out of options and on the bubble

Backup catcher Wilson and reserve outfielder Evans face long odds of making the major league roster when the Angels break camp next month. If they don't make it, the team could lose both on waivers.

March 19, 2010|By Kevin Baxter

Reporting from Phoenix — With catcher Bobby Wilson and outfielder Terry Evans out of minor league options the Angels will have some tough decisions to make when it comes time to cut their roster to the opening-day limit of 25 next month.

Both are proven major league players, Manager Mike Scioscia said. But if the Angels open the season with 12 pitchers, it's unlikely they'll have room for a third catcher or a sixth outfielder.

And they certainly won't have room for both.

"We would have to look at things closely, just what makes sense, what gives you enough versatility," Scioscia said. "We don't want to lose anybody. But these are decisions that are made at least two weeks from now. A lot can change in two weeks."

The Angels could make a trade, for example. But if they don't, they run the risk of seeing both players claimed off waivers if they don't make the team.

It's all good as far as Wilson is concerned.

"It makes things a lot easier. I don't have to worry about being sent down," said Wilson, 26, who has spent his entire seven-year professional career in the Angels organization, playing in 19 big league games over the last two seasons and earning a spot on the postseason roster last year.

Wilson, who would back up Mike Napoli and Jeff Mathis if he made the team, is hitting .364 in 11 at-bats this spring.

Evans faces even longer odds. Not only is he hitting just .263 in 19 spring at-bats after going one for three with a double Friday, but the Angels are deep in the outfield with Juan Rivera, Torii Hunter, Bobby Abreu, Hideki Matsui and Reggie Willits.

However, Willits, the only option to back up Hunter in center field, is nursing a strained right hamstring. If that injury lingers, it could open a spot for the 28-year-old Evans, who hit .291 with career bests for runs (104), steals (28), home runs (26) and runs batted in (90) at triple-A Salt Lake last summer.

Short hops

Scioscia said right-handers Kevin Jepsen and Fernando Rodney both reported no problems Friday, a day after their second outings of the spring. . . . Neither Matsui nor shortstop Erick Aybar is expected to make Saturday's trip to Tucson and will instead remain in Tempe to get much-needed at-bats in a camp game. Both players have been slowed by injury this spring. . . . Willits underwent two hours of strengthening work on his strained hamstring Friday morning and then was scheduled to throw and take batting practice for the first time in five days. Scioscia doesn't expect Willits to return to game action until early next week. . . . Despite pounding out 15 hits Friday, the Angels are hitting only .256, better than only the Baltimore Orioles among American League teams this spring.

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