Opening Day: Angels-Reds …

Welcome to Great American Ball Park, home of the first ever interleague matchup on Opening Day and the scene where the Angels will kick off another highly anticipated season …

Angels (0-0)

laaMike Trout, CF
Erick Aybar, SS
Albert Pujols, 1B
Josh Hamilton, RF
Mark Trumbo, LF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Chris Iannetta, C
Jered Weaver, SP

Reds (0-0)

REDSShin-Soo Choo, CF
Brandon Phillips, 2B
Joey Votto, 1B
Ryan Ludwick, LF
Jay Bruce, RF
Todd Frazier, 3B
Zack Cozart, SS
Ryan Hanigan, C
Johnny Cueto, SP

Some pregame notes …

  • Chris Snyder could’ve opted out of his Minor League deal with the Angels, but the veteran catcher instead accepted his assignment to Triple-A Salt Lake, increasing the Angels’ depth behind the plate. Snyder will be on a Salt Lake Bees roster that also includes John Hester and Luke Carlin, with the three of them rotation between catcher, DH and bench duty. Snyder will also play some first base.
  • Mike Scioscia, on where Garrett Richards‘ role in the bullpen is: He’s much more than just an innings-eater in the ‘pen. His power arm is something we can take a look at at any point in the game.” Ernesto Frieri, Scott Downs and Sean Burnett are ahead of him in the depth chart, but it could change if he pitches well.
  • Scioscia said he “would anticipate” that Pujols would play all three games at first base in this series. The day off certainly helps.
  • Ryan Madson is away from throwing, still experiencing some tightness in his elbow, but Scioscia expects him to get back on the mound in a couple days.
  • Trout has about 10 family and friends at Great American Ball Park for his first Major League Opening Day. “It a feeling you really can’t explain,” he said.

Some Opening Day numbers …

  • The Angels have won eight of their last nine Opening Day games, including four straight, which ties a franchise record.
  • This is Weaver’s fourth straight Opening Day start and fifth overall, joining Mike Witt as the only pitcher to start five Opening Days for the Angels. Weaver is 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA on Day 1.
  • Hamilton made his debut in this stadium almost exactly six years ago (April 2, 2007, in Cincy).
  • The Angels are the only team in the Majors to open the 2013 season with three straight series against playoff teams (Reds, Rangers, A’s). That actually hasn’t been done since ’07 (Giants and Orioles).
  • This is the third series all-time played between the Angels and Reds, and first since 2007. The Angels have won four of six.
  • Angels’ 74-34 record in Interleague Play since 2007 leads the Majors.
  • Aybar and Kendrick are making their fifth straight Opening Day start together up the middle, the longest active active Opening Day start streak by a middle-infield tandem in the Majors. Today, Kendrick passed Bobby Knoop for most consecutive Opening Day starts by an Angels second baseman.
  • The Angels’ first road trip has six different times (all local): 4:10, 7:10, 12:35, 1:05, 3:05, 7:05.
  • Pujols’ career 143 RBIs and 46 homers against the Reds rank second among active players.

Alden

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