Scioscia steps away, and other injury happenings …
Angels manager Mike Scioscia isn’t with the team today. He flew back to Philadelphia on Friday night to deal with a death in the family and is expected back on Sunday. Bench coach Rob Picciolo will manage in Scioscia’s absence.
Here are some injury notes on a muggy Sunday that could produce back-to-back rainouts. Radar shows a 20-percent chance of rain at game time.
* Lefty reliever Sean Burnett, who dealt with lower back stiffness early in camp, expects to pitch in a sim game Sunday and appear in his first Cactus League game on Wednesday, leaving him plenty of time to be ready by Opening Day. Burnett said it’s been “a week and a half, two weeks” since he’s felt anything in his back and doesn’t believe he needs to get in back-to-back games to be ready for the regular season.
“I’ve been around long enough to know what I need,” he said. “If I start tomorrow with the simulated game, I’ll get plenty of outings and probably just as many as any year before, if not more. I’m right on track. I’m not going to miss anything.”
* Bill Hall, out since suffering tightness in his right quad on Feb. 27, did some running drills on the field again pregame and is getting close to returning to game action.
* Prospect Andrew Taylor, the lefty reliever who was with the Angels as a September call-up last year, hasn’t appeared in a game since Feb. 27 due to tightness in his shoulder. The 26-year-old had a hard time getting loose for his first two Cactus League appearances and hasn’t picked up a baseball since. He’ll see a doctor today and is could undergo an MRI on Monday. Asked about concern it’s a rotator cuff issue that would require surgery, Taylor said: “I’m not too worried about that right now. I guess we’ll see what the doc has to say.”
* Mitch Stetter, yet another lefty reliever, threw a shortened bullpen a few days ago and will throw a regular session — all fastballs — on Saturday. The 32-year-old was told he’d need about five bullpen sessions before appearing in his first action of the spring. Stetter, who posted a 4.08 ERA in 132 relief appearances with the Brewers from 2007-11, has been out with a bulging disk in his back.
Thanks to Spencer Fordin and Owen Perkins for filling in for me while I was away for a few days this week.