TEMPE, Ariz. -- Catcher Hank Conger has sailed two throws to third base into left field this spring. He bounced a late throw to second on Wednesday and nearly hit pitcher Jered Weaver in the head with a throw to second after the Angels pitcher finished his warm-up tosses before an inning.
Conger, a 2006 first-round pick who has spent much of the past three years at triple-A, is ready to hit in the big leagues, and his arm strength is adequate. But to nail down the job as Chris Iannetta’s backup, he’ll need to find a consistent-enough exchange and arm stroke to control a running game. He is still searching.
“On the practice field, he’s making a lot of strides, but at some point you need to bring that consistency into the game,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “We’re very confident he will, but he has to find it.”
Scioscia doesn’t need Conger to be the next Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez. He doesn’t have to “throw rockets to the corner of the bag all the time,” the manager said, but he can’t let opponents run wild on the Angels.