March 23, 2013 |
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels can score in bunches, as they showed again Friday, when they amassed nine runs for the second straight game. The question is, will they have enough pitching to win high-scoring games? They didn't in Friday's 13-9 loss to Kansas City, when C.J. Wilson was rocked for eight runs and eight hits in 2 2/3 innings, and they didn't in Thursday night's 10-9 loss to Texas, when Jerome Williams couldn't make it out of the second inning. The Angels have a 7.26 earned-run average in 25 spring games - a full run worse than any team in baseball - and of their five starters, only Joe Blanton has had a decent spring.
March 21, 2013 |
TEMPE, Ariz. - Jered Weaver's right arm is alive and well. Cuffed around by the Oakland Athletics in his last exhibition start, when he went through a spring-training “dead-arm” phase, the Angels ace threw 89 pitches in 6 1/3 innings of an intrasquad game Thursday and was pleased with the results. “I'm back on track,” said Weaver, who was rocked for eight runs and three homers in two innings against the A's on Saturday. “The first two innings felt like the same thing, but the last four innings I threw I was where I needed to be as far as mechanics and timing.
March 19, 2013 |
PHOENIX - Angels left-hander Jason Vargas was tagged for five runs and eight hits, including two home runs, in 5 1/3 innings of Tuesday's 6-1 exhibition loss to the Milwaukee Brewers in Maryvale Park. First baseman Albert Pujols, who has been eased into action this spring after undergoing right-knee surgery last October, played five innings on defense, the first time he has played the field this spring. Though he didn't field any line drives or ground balls - the extent of his work in the field was to catch two throws from infielders on grounders - Pujols declared himself fit for the team's April 1 season opener at Cincinnati.
March 17, 2013 |
TEMPE, Ariz. -- C.J. Wilson became the first Angels pitcher to work into the sixth inning, holding San Diego to a run on five hits through 5 1/3 innings of a 7-4 Cactus League win over the Padres on Sunday It was the second strong outing of the spring for Wilson, who gave up a run in three innings in his last Cactus League game 10 days earlier. "I thought he was excellent," Manager Mike Scioscia said of Wilson. "For one stretch he was getting under his changeup a little bit and it was elevated.
March 15, 2013 |
TEMPE, Ariz. - If the Cactus League had a Hall of Fame, the Angels' Howie Kendrick would be inducted on the first ballot. With two hits in Friday's 8-5 loss to the Seattle Mariners, Kendrick extended his spring-training hitting streak to 12 games and upped his average to a team-leading .500. Over the last seven springs, Kendrick is hitting .367, 75 points better than his regular-season average from 2007 to 2012. "The biggest thing is just trying to play like it's a real game," Kendrick said.
March 13, 2013 |
PEORIA, Ariz. - It wasn't the debut Sean Burnett hoped for, the Angels new bullpen acquisition giving up two runs and four hits in the span of five batters Wednesday in an 8-6 loss to the San Diego Padres. But for Manager Mike Scioscia, the 20-pitch outing was a big step forward. "Just getting out there and getting the wraps off is important," Scioscia said of Burnett, who hadn't appeared in a game this spring because of a stiff lower back. "He'll be better his next time out. An important part of our team is going to be our bullpen.
March 9, 2013 |
TEMPE, Ariz. - With Albert Pujols limping through spring training on a surgically repaired right knee, the Angels talked the Colorado Rockies into approving a courtesy runner for Pujols if he reached base in Saturday's Cactus League contest. That soon became a moot point, though, because the only time Pujols got past first he could have crawled around the bases after hitting a majestic solo home run in the third inning of the Angels' 8-6 loss. "I wasn't going to pinch-run for him when he hit the home run. That would have been a little embarrassing," joked bench coach Rob Picciolo, who was filling in for Manager Mike Scioscia.
March 7, 2013 |
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.
March 4, 2013 |
PHOENIX - The Angels absorbed another Cactus League beating Monday, their 13-5 exhibition loss to the Oakland Athletics in Phoenix Municipal Stadium dropping their spring record to 1-8-2, but several front-line players had productive afternoons. Vernon Wells, a reserve outfielder who hopes to push Peter Bourjos for playing time, hit his second home run of the spring, a three-run shot to left-center field off All-Star reliever Ryan Cook in the fifth inning. “He's having good at-bats and seeing the ball well,” Manager Mike Scioscia said of Wells.
March 4, 2013 |
TEMPE, Ariz. - Hiroyuki Kobayashi has shown a decent split-fingered fastball, which he used to strike out two batters in Sunday's split-squad game against the Chicago Cubs. But he apparently didn't show enough of a fastball to stick with the Angels, who released the Japanese right-hander Monday morning. Manager Mike Scioscia said after Sunday's game that Kobayashi, who gave up a solo home run to Brad Nelson, would have to boost his fastball from the 86-mph range he's been throwing at this spring to 90 or 91 mph. The team obviously was not confident that the 34-year-old right-hander could do that.