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Kendrys Morales' debut pushed to Thursday

March 20, 2012|By Lance Pugmire
  • Kendrys Morales experienced tightness in his right calf after playing in Monday's minor-league game.
Kendrys Morales experienced tightness in his right calf after playing… (Jamie Squire / Getty Images )

Tempe, Ariz. — Kendrys Morales’ long wait to return to a major-league game will be on hold two more days.

The designated hitter reported some right calf tightness from wearing a shin guard in a Monday minor-league game, and the Angels have opted to rest him until Thursday’s home game at Diablo Stadium against the Kansas City Royals.

Morales, 28, has been out since fracturing his left ankle May 29, 2010, while celebrating a walk-off homer by jumping onto home plate. In 2009, he hit 34 home runs and drove in 108 runs.

“The pain from [Monday] is a little bit better, tomorrow’s an off day, and after that we’ll play a game,” Morales said. “The only thing left for me is to get healthy. Everything else is something I’m already used to.”

The Angels have 14 spring games left starting Thursday, and Morales, with an 0-for-3 session in Monday’s minor-league action, has accumulated 12 at-bats in minor games.

“His ankle’s great, it’s just a matter of getting his legs in shape,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. ‘There’s plenty of time for him to play opening day. We just have to see how durable he is. His bat speed is great.

“He’ll search for his timing now. To hit major-league pitching, you need to face major-league pitching.”

Scioscia said he’s optimistic Morales will make the necessary strides once he debuts in the big-league exhibitions.

“You’re not talking about a guy who’s 37, he’s in his prime,” Scioscia said. “There’s no question about him leveraging a ball.”

Trout scheduled to debut:  Outfielder Mike Trout is batting eighth as the Angels’ designated hitter in Tuesday’s lineup, marking the major-league spring debut for the team’s 20-year-old No. 1 prospect.

Trout has missed chunks of games with flu symptoms that caused him to lose 10 pounds, along with leg tightness and shoulder tendinitis.

“There’s no doubt it set him back, but in the big picture, a month or two, it’ll be a non-issue,” Scioscia said, declining to set odds on Trout’s remote chances of making the opening-day roster.

“Too much can happen and might not happen. Rosters are starting to form in our head.”

After striking a double and triple in a Double-A game Monday, Trout on Tuesday said, “I just want to go out and have fun. It’s up to them to make the right decision.”

Health update: Catcher Chris Iannetta, who took a foul ball off his right elbow Friday, is to bat in minor-league games Tuesday and Wednesday and play Thursday for the big club.

Starting pitcher Jerome Williams, sidelined this spring with a hamstring strain, ran on a treadmill for 15 minutes Monday and could start throwing off a mound this week.

Scioscia said Williams “needs more than two starts,” to be ready for the No. 5 pitcher’s turn in the rotation April 15.

The front-runner to fill in for Williams, Garrett Richards, will start Wednesday’s 10-inning Triple-A game Wednesday at Diablo Stadium, relieved by another No. 5 possibility, left-hander Brad Mills.

Major-leaguers Iannetta, catcher Bobby Wilson, infielders Andrew Romine and Alexi Amarista, and Trout will also play in the game with the rest of the Angels off Wednesday, Scioscia said.

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Lance.pugmire@latimes.com

Twitter.com/latimespugmire


Kendrys Morales' debut pushed to Thursday

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