Reporting from Tempe, Ariz. — Angels rookie Garrett Richards appears to have locked up the fifth rotation spot with a solid spring, but right-hander Jerome Williams, sidelined since March 2 because of a left hamstring strain, is not ready to concede.
Williams, who entered camp as the favorite to join Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Ervin Santana and C.J. Wilson in the rotation, threw off a bullpen mound Tuesday, will repeat the workout Thursday and is scheduled to start an exhibition game, with a target of three innings and 45 pitches, on Monday.
That should give him enough time to make three or four starts before the April 15, the day the Angels will first need a fifth starter.
"I'll be ready," Williams said. "I'll be ready."
Last season, Williams, 30, went 4-0 with a 3.68 earned-run average in 10 games, six starts, after an Aug. 17 promotion to the Angels, his first big-league action since 2007. He played winter ball in Venezuela and began his off-season throwing program in January in Arizona.