Game 19: Royals-Angels (and Kendrys) …

Yeah, it’s only Spring Training, but make no mistake — today is a big day for recovering slugger Kendrys Morales, as Thursday’s lineups show …

Royals (11-7)

Alex Gordon, LF
Johnny Giavotella, 2B
Eric Hosmer, 1B
Max Ramirez, DH
Mitch Maier, RF
Yuniesky Betancourt, 3B
Lorenzo Cain, CF
Brayan Pena, C
Alcides Escobar, SS
SP: LH Danny Duffy

Also pitching: Blaine Hardy, Ethan Hollingsworth, Tommy Hottovy, Zach Miner, Sean O’Sullivan

Angels (9-8-1)

Erick Aybar, SS
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Albert Pujols, 1B
Torii Hunter, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Morales, DH
Bobby Abreu, LF
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Chris Iannetta, C
SP: RH Jered Weaver

Also pitching: Scott Downs, Hisanori Takahashi, Jason Isringhausen

Some notes from this morning …

  • While manager Mike Scioscia admitted it’s “nice” to finally be able to write Morales’ name in a lineup again, he was quick to point out that he still has some hurdles to clear. Such as … “It’s not going to help us doing it twice a week, it’s going to help us doing it six days a week. So there’s some hurdles that he needs to clear. As far as getting to this point, where we can see him again and be able to evaluate him, I think we’ were very, very confident it was going to happen at some point. Now, how the stamina aspect and how he responds after – he responded well going first-to-home the other day. How he responds to that is going to be something we’re going to have to feel for.”
  • Jerome Williams (left hamstring) has enough time to make it back to be the fifth starter by April 15, but he can’t have a single hiccup. He’s going to get the start on Monday — yes, the start, not come in relief behind Garrett Richards — and that would line him up to have exactly four spring starts before the game at Yankee Stadium, which is what Scioscia previously said is the minimum he needs this spring.
  • The Angels, don’t forget, have a doubleheader tomorrow, with a day game at the Brewers’ facility and a night game at the Indians’ complex. Dan Haren will pitch the day game vs Zack Greinke.
  • Scioscia hasn’t made a final decision yet, but it looks very likely that C.J. Wilson will not start against the Rangers on Sunday, instead pitching in a Minor League game to get his innings in. Yu Darvish will also not pitch against the Angels this weekend. A little gamesmanship? Scioscia downplayed that. “It’s not who we play. We’re getting our own team ready, and if it’s going to help our pitcher get ready to pitch in a Major League game because of things he needs to do with the infield or the catcher or the pitcher-catcher relationship. There’s a lot that goes into where a guy pitches.”
  • No final decision yet from Jeremy Moore, but hip surgery still seems likely.

Some links from Wednesday …

  • The first Spring Training version of the Inbox, on Mark Trumbo, Bobby Abreu, Aybar, etc.
  • Richards continues to make case for rotation
  • Mike Trout, Iannetta see action in Minors game
  • Angels reassign Kole Calhoun, Ryan Brasier and Efren Navarro
  • Arte Moreno interviewed by GQ

Some AL West links …

And the Miami Heat added some much-needed size and toughness with the signing of Ronny Turiaf.

Alden

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