We’ll start with 61 …

Angels Spring BaseballThe Angels’ Spring Training roster is officially at 63 players. One of those guys is Josh Hamilton, who has spent the spring in Houston and is awaiting a potential suspension from Major League Baseball. The other is Tyler Skaggs, who will spend the entire year rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

As for the 61 others?

With the Angels’ Cactus League schedule starting Thursday, I’ve categorized each of those 61 players based on where they stand in Spring Training. Hopefully it’ll help make everything a lot easier as you watch these games and see all those high uniform numbers march to the field.

First, a few points worth making …

  • Alex Yarbrough is included in one of the competitions, but it’s a bit of a reach. He doesn’t really have a shot at being the starting second baseman, but Mike Scioscia (pictured) said they’re trying the young second baseman out at third base, first base and left field to see if he has some versatility, so there’s a chance he can make the team as a utility guy. Otherwise, he’d be listed as a prospect.
  • Backup catcher is listed as a competition, but Drew Butera is out of options and is pretty much a lock.
  • Johnny Giavotella is also out of options.
  • Garrett Richards is expected to start the season on the disabled list, so two rotation spots are up for grabs.
  • If Hector Santiago doesn’t crack the rotation — I expect him to if Richards is starting the season on the DL — he’ll be used out of the bullpen.
  • Cory Rasmus is listed among the competitors for the starting rotation because he’ll be stretched out this spring, but I think it’s a lot more likely that he makes the Opening Day roster as a reliever.
  • In tune with all that, I pretty much consider the the last two rotation spots a three-man race between Santiago, Andrew Heaney and Nick Tropeano, but hey, anything can happen.
  • Matt Lindstrom is an XX(B) free agent, which in most cases is a player who has six years of Major League service time and signs a Minor League contract. Because of that, he can opt out of his deal (or be paid a $100,000 retention bonus) if he isn’t on the Opening Day roster.
  • There’s a good chance three of the five guys vying for the second base/utility job make the team.
  • C.J. Cron is pretty much a lock and I expect him to get a lot of at-bats at designated hitter, especially against left-handed pitching. Collin Cowgill should also find his way into the lineup a lot of times.
  • Cracking the Opening Day roster is basically a nominal distinction. Rosters change a gazillion times over the course of a season.

Angels Spring BaseballLOCKS

Lineup

17: Chris Iannetta, C
05: Albert Pujols, 1B
06: David Freese, 3B
02: Erick Aybar, SS
20: Matt Joyce, LF
27: Mike Trout, CF (pictured)
56: Kole Calhoun, RF

Rotation

36: Jered Weaver, RH
43: Garrett Richards, RH
33: C.J. Wilson, LH
52: Matt Shoemaker, RH

Bullpen

16: Huston Street, CL
38: Joe Smith, SU
64: Mike Morin, MR
59: Fernando Salas, MR
37: Cesar Ramos, MR

Bench

07: Collin Cowgill, OF

Angels Spring BaseballCOMPETING

Second baseman/utility infielder

08: Taylor Featherston, 2B/SS
12: Johnny Giavotella, 2B/3B/LF
10: Grant Green, 2B/LF
13: Josh Rutledge, 2B/SS
81: Alex Yarbrough, 2B/3B/1B/LF

Starting rotation

58: Jose Alvarez, LH
28: Andrew Heaney, LH (pictured)
46: Cory Rasmus, RH
51: Drew Rucinski, RH
53: Hector Santiago, LH
35: Nick Tropeano, RH

Bullpen

68: Cam Bedrosian, RH
41: Frank Herrmann, RH
22: Matt Lindstrom, RH
47: Ryan Mattheus, RH
60: Jeremy McBryde, RH
63: Vinnie Pestano, RH
65: Danny Reynolds, RH
71: Atahualpa Severino, LH
73: Scott Snodgress, LH

Additional bat

24: C.J. Cron, 1B, RHH
54: Roger Kieschnick, LF/RF, LHH
39: Marc Krauss, 1B/LF/RF, LHH
57: Alfredo Marte, LF/CF/RF, RHH
19: Efren Navarro, 1B/LF/RF, LHH
44: Daniel Robertson, LF/CF/RF, RHH

Backup catcher

22: Drew Butera, RHH
99: Carlos Perez, RHH
98: Jett Bandy, RHH

Angels Spring BaseballMINORS BOUND

Prospects

84: Trevor Gott, RP
75: Kyle Kubitza, 3B (pictured)
86: Sean Newcomb, SP
85: Nate Smith, SP
74: Eric Stamets, SS

Veterans

97: Charles Cutler, C/1B/LF
96: Stephen McGee, C
79: Edgar Ibarra, RP
87: Sherman Johnson, 2B/3B
80: D’Arby Myers, LF/CF/RF
40: Alex Sanabia, SP
88: Albert Suarez, SP
49: Ryan Wheeler, 1B/3B
72: Adam Wilk, SP
48: Jackson Williams, C

PROJECTED OPENING DAY ROSTER (I reserve the right to change my mind)

Starters: Weaver, Wilson, Shoemaker, Santiago, Heaney
Relievers: Street, Smith, Morin, Salas, Ramos, Lindstrom, Rasmus
Lineup: Iannetta, Pujols, Rutledge, Freese, Aybar, Joyce, Trout, Calhoun, Cron
Bench: Butera, Featherston, Giavotella, Cowgill

Photos courtesy of The Associated Press.

Alden

6 Comments

The Angels cannot do better than Butera as a backup catcher?

Thanks Alden. Your articles are so helpful. On my way to Tempe as we speak.

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