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Jered Weaver to start in Angels' opener

April 04, 2012|By Lance Pugmire
  • Jered Weaver will make his third consecutive opening day start for the Angels on Friday night against Kansas City.
Jered Weaver will make his third consecutive opening day start for the Angels… (Chris Carlson / Associated…)

Angels Manager Mike Scioscia confirmed Wednesday what was long suspected: Jered Weaver will make his third consecutive opening-day start when he takes the mound with the new Albert Pujols-led Angels on Friday night vs. the Kansas City Royals at Anaheim Stadium.

The 29-year-old Weaver (18-8, 2.41 earned run average last season) has been an All-Star the last two years. He is scheduled to face Kansas City veteran Bruce Chen in the 7:05 p.m. game.

"Weave's the guy you want out there," Scioscia said.

The Angels will send Dan Haren to the mound Saturday, followed by Ervin Santana on Sunday. Free-agent addition C.J. Wilson will start in the opener of the Angels' road series in Minnesota on Monday, then, after a day off, Weaver will pitch again April 11 against the Twins.

The left-handed Wilson, starting Wednesday's spring-training finale against the Dodgers, is 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA in the spring, allowing just 13 hits in 20 1/3 innings with 16 strikeouts and three walks.

Despite that success, Wilson said earlier this spring that Weaver was still the staff ace and advocated letting a "friendly competition" play out among the starters.

Weaver is 2-2 with a 5.40 ERA in spring, striking out 18 in 18-plus innings. Haren has struck out 25 with just two walks in 26 1/3 spring innings.

Scioscia said "statistical analysis" did not influence setting the regular-season starting rotation.

Scioscia also told reporters Wednesday morning that he had finalized the Angels' 25-man roster and would inform the players involved with roster moves before the end of Wednesday's Freeway Series finale, with the club expected to make an official announcement by game's end.

The roster shrunk to 31 late Tuesday with the assignment of catcher Hank Conger to Triple-A Salt Lake.

In the morning clubhouse, some Angels players on the bubble, like outfielder Kole Calhoun, reviewed the lineup card/workout list for their names.

The most compelling decision is whom to keep among 23-year-old utility player Alexi Amarista, reserve corner infielder/pinch-hitter Jorge Cantu and reserve outfielder Ryan Langerhans.

Amarista's versatility, speed and strong spring make him the favorite to stick.

-- Lance Pugmire


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