Results tagged ‘ Bill Hall ’

Game 29: Orioles-Angels …

Orioles (17-12)

BALNolan Reimold, LF
Manny Machado, 3B
Nick Markakis, RF
Adam Jones, CF
Chris Davis, 1B
Matt Wieters, C
J.J. Hardy, SS
Steve Pearce, DH
Alexi Casilla, 2B

SP: RH Miguel Gonzalez (2-1, 4.60 ERA)

Angels (10-18)

laaErick Aybar, SS
Mike Trout, CF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Mark Trumbo, RF
Josh Hamilton, DH
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Chris Iannetta, C
J.B. Shuck, LF

SP: LH Jason Vargas (0-3, 4.85)

  • As you might have noticed, Callaspo was activated off the disabled prior to Friday’s game. But going down was Andrew Romine, not Luis Jimenez. Mike Scioscia likes having a power right-handed bat off the bench like Jimenez — it’s essentially the role Bill Hall was going to play, before he got hurt in Spring Training — and he feels Brendan Harris can be used as a utility infielder. A big question with this decision, however, is Harris’ defense. It’s not his strong suit. Offense is. Romine was a much more capable defender. And maybe Jimenez would’ve benefited from some more at-bats in the Minors to polish up his approach, which has led to a lot of strikeouts at this level.
  • In tune with his new role, Jimenez was getting some work in left field pregame. Scioscia said right now he’s only comfortable using Jimenez there in an “emergency” situation, but perhaps that can change if he gets better at it.
  • Garrett Richards is going back to the bullpen, with Jerome Williams taking his spot in the rotation on Sunday. The move makes sense on a couple of fronts. First and foremost, the Angels need a relief pitcher to bridge the gap to the later innings, and Richards can do that in what he said is “a primary role” in the back end. Williams has struggled as a starting pitcher in recent outings, but he’s been really good in long relief lately.
  • Sean Burnett said today that he’s going to fly to Florida to see Dr. James Andrews on Monday morning. After that, he’ll fly to Houston to rejoin the team on their two-city trip. The lefty reliever, out since April 27 with left forearm irritation, didn’t sound very concerned. But it’s always frightening when pitchers see Dr. Andrews, so it’s definitely something worth monitoring.
  • It looks like Scott Downs (pain in his right side) will avoid the DL. At least for now. He probably won’t be available Friday, but Scioscia is going to have him go through his normal pregame nonetheless.
  • Mark Lowe (left neck strain) will pitch two innings for Class A Inland Empire on Sunday. He’s eligible to be activated that day, so that may be Lowe’s final outing before rejoining the team.
  • Shortstop Tommy Field suffered a broken finger shortly after he was sent down on April 23. He’s on the 7-day Minor League DL and could miss a month.


Game 8: Athletics-Angels …

Perhaps it’s too early for urgency. We are, in fact, just seven games into a 162-game season. But these are the Angels — the much-hyped Angels, with a $150-plus million payroll, tons of stars and the desire (necessity?) to get off to a much better start this year. As one player told me pregame, “We need an easy win today.”

Lineups …

Athletics (6-2)

OAKCoco Crisp, CF
John Jaso, C
Jed Lowrie, SS
Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Brandon Moss, 1B
Chris Young, RF
Seth Smith, DH
Josh Donaldson, 3B
Eric Sogard, 2B

SP: Tommy Milone (1-0, 2.57 ERA)

Angels (2-5)

CALMike Trout, LF
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Albert Pujols, DH
Josh Hamilton, RF
Mark Trumbo, 1B
Howie Kendrick 2B
Brendan Harris, SS
Chris Iannetta, C
Peter Bourjos, CF

SP: Joe Blanton (0-1, 7.20 ERA)

  • It doesn’t look good for Erick Aybar, who’s out of the lineup one day after exiting the game in the third inning with a left heel contusion. He’s in even more pain today than he was yesterday, and given his overall toughness, that isn’t a good sign. The Angels still haven’t received results of his examinations earlier today, so they’re still treating it as a day to day situation. But he appears headed for the DL.
  • Mike Scioscia was asked about last night’s confusion, when he said Sean Burnett couldn’t go more than one inning because of a blister and Burnett said he could and the blister was already gone. The Angels’ skipper got pretty defensive, saying: “We’re totally on the same page. We are absolutely on the same page. I think he was talking about his performance and his pitching … Sean Burnett, part of what came up was he was used a lot in the first week of the season, he pitched a lot of baseball and not wanting to really repeat that I think there are some things you have to really be mindful of.”
  • Ryan Madson felt good after his 30-pitch bullpen on Tuesday and will play catch with a softball, because it helps him get on top of the ball.
  • Jered Weaver is off the sling and could be playing catch pretty soon. The timeline hasn’t changed, and he’ll still have to build back his length before returning, but it’s good for him to trigger the arm.
  • Here’s what Scioscia said about using Harris over Andrew Romine: “Brendan, with his experience, is probably a little stronger in the batter’s box and he played good shortstop in the spring. [Andrew’s] a terrific defender. With Milone actually he has that change-up so he is tough on righties, too. We feel good about Brendan, where he is, and he had a good game last night for us.”
  • Pujols is at DH to give him a chance to regroup. It’s his third time in four games there.
  • The Angels signed first baseman/outfielder Brad Hawpe to a Minor League deal. He’ll report to extended Spring Training in Tempe, Ariz., for four or five days, then head to Triple-A Salt Lake, providing coverage for Kole Calhoun (broken hamate bone).
  • Bill Hall, resigned by the club, has already reported to extended spring. He’ll be there a little longer because he barely had a Spring Training while recovering from a quad and calf injury.


Pujols on his plantar fasciitis …

Through sporadic parts of the last seven years, Albert Pujols has played through plantar fasciitis on his left foot.

“It comes and goes,” Pujols said.

And recently, the Angels’ first baseman, recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, has dealt with a flare-up. Plantar fasciitis is when the ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes is strained, causing it to become weak, swollen and irritated, according to WebMD. That results in pain when walking or standing, which could be annoying for baseball players.

“It’s nothing that’s going to keep me out of the lineup,” Pujols said, “because I’ve played with it the whole season before.

Pujols says he’s been more aggressive treating plantar fasciitis this spring and is wearing orthotics for the first time. Another treatment is to just cut the ligament via surgery, but Pujols isn’t sure if he’ll have to do that.

The 33-year-old played first base in a game for the first time on Tuesday, is in the lineup as the designated hitter on Wednesday and may return to first base on Thursday.

Asked how his foot feels while playing, Pujols said: “Sore, but nothing really dramatic where I would say, ‘Man, I can’t play, this is too bad.’ Right now, I’m just concentrating on getting my knee strong. I can handle the plantar fasciitis.”

Some other notes …

* Bill Hall says his right quad has healed, but the left calf continues to keep him off the field, relegated to only treatment. Hall received a platelet-rich plasma injection on the calf a couple days ago, which made it feel better but forced him to give it  time to heal. Hall hasn’t appeared in a game since Feb. 27, all but guaranteeing he won’t make the team out of Opening Day. The Angels owe him a $100,000 bonus if he isn’t on the active roster by March 26. One very real possibility is that they cut him, then resign him so he starts the season in Triple-A.

* Kevin Jepsen, who hasn’t appeared in a game since March 9 because of tightness in his right triceps, was slated to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday and could return to game action two days later.

* The lineup against the Indians: Trout CF, Kendrick 2B, Pujols DH, Hamilton RF, Trumbo 1B, Callaspo 3B, Wells LF, Iannetta C, Harris SS; Hanson SP.


Hall headed for MRI after setback …

Time keeps slipping away for roster hopeful Bill Hall.

Hall, signed to a Minor League contract and at one time looking like a favorite for a reserve spot, had been out since Feb. 27 because of tightness in his right quad. Then, during infield drills on Wednesday morning, as he was inching closer to a return to game action, the 33-year-old’s left calf tightened up, prompting him to leave the Angels facility on Thursday morning to undergo an MRI.

“It’s a little frustrating,” said Hall, the versatile infielder who was 3-for-9 before the injury. “I want to get out there. I had been playing well, and I did a lot of work this offseason to prevent this. But I guess there’s another plan. Hopefully it’s not as bad as it could be and I could get back out there as soon as possible.”

Hall didn’t undergo an MRI when he suffered the quad injury, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia said they opted to get an image this time because Hall was bothered by the calf last season. Hall believes the injury occurred because he was compensating for the quad.

Hall sent out a cryptic tweet shortly after the injury, saying …


“I’m a little concerned,” Hall explained. “… Hopefully it’s not as bad as it seems.”

Hall is a XX(b) free agent, meaning the Angels basically have to make a decision on whether or not to keep him on the 25-man roster five days before Opening Day, in this case March 26. They owe him a $100,000 bonus to keep him in the organization but not on the active roster past that point.


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.


Angels 8, Giants 8 …

Mike Trout

This was the second straight tie for the Angels (0-4-2), and the third straight for the Giants (1-1-3).

Welcome to Spring Training.

Another thing about Spring Training: The lack of star power. Especially this year, especially in this camp. The early start has prompted Angels manager Mike Scioscia to wait until March 1 before using any of his Major League starters or relievers. Of the 47 times a new pitcher has taken the mound so far this spring, only four times — Jerome Williams, Garrett Richards and Michael Kohn (twice) — has that guy had a realistic chance of being on the Opening Day roster. And no everyday position player has received more than eight plate appearances.

In other words: Take zero wins and a 7.57 ERA with a grain of salt.

“We feel very strongly with our guys that if they start to fire it up early, by March 18 they’re going to be stir-crazy,” Scioscia said. “There’s only a certain amount of at-bats they need. We’re going to have plenty of time for that.”

Here’s more from Wednesday’s game …

The good

Mike Trout, playing center field, went 1-for-2, with a single and a walk — just like he did in Monday’s debut. He ripped a base hit to right field in the first inning, then drew a bases-loaded walk in the fifth.

Kaleb Cowart looks like he’s starting to come along from the left side of the plate, notching a single and an RBI double and getting robbed of extra bases in three plate appearances there — all against quality right-handed pitchers.

Brandon Sisk, the lefty reliever acquired from the Royals for Ervin Santana, pitched a clean inning in his spring debut.

The bad

Nick Maronde, who will be stretched out this spring despite having an outside chance at a bullpen spot, had a rough first couple innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits and one walk while only getting four outs.

He wasn’t helped by catcher Hank Conger, whose first-inning throw to third base on an attempted steal sailed wide of Bill Hall, allowing a run to score. Scioscia said pregame that Conger’s throwing is “getting much better,” but added that it’s “always a work in progress.

Hall, trying to make the Angels’ Opening Day roster as a utility player, left in the third inning with a tight right quad. He  initially hurt it while running up the first-base line in his first at-bat in the second inning, then aggravated it while charging a slow roller the next half-inning. “Nothing serious,” he said. “Hopefully only a couple days.”

Best play (that I saw)

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Giants center fielder Juan Perez ran a long way towards the gap in deep left-center field and stole a sure double away from Cowart just before crashing into the wall, drawing a standing ovation from the Giants fans seated on the third-base side.

Best quote

Chad Cordero, on being promoted to Major League camp: “It threw me back a little bit. I was surprised, but at the same time, I was excited, to be able to come up here and go through big league camp and just get used to the whole thing again. I’m looking forward to that. It’s a great opportunity for me, and I’m very thankful that it’s happened.”


Angels 7, D-backs (ss) 7 …

Josh HamiltonJosh Hamilton‘s first two plate appearances with the Angels took all of three pitches. His third went five, but it cost him his last bat. On his second straight foul ball, Hamilton had to scurry back to the on-deck circle and take Mark Trumbo‘s bat, which he used to hit a second straight flyout to center field and cap an 0-for-3 day.

“I ran out of bats, man,” said Hamilton, who packed three bats for his first game with the Angels, then broke one in BP and broke two more in the game.

Here’s the non-Hamilton breakdown of Tuesday’s game …

The good

The Angels didn’t lose! They’re now 0-4-1 thanks to Bill Hall‘s eighth-inning two-run double.

Speaking of Hall, who’s fighting for a roster spot — he went 2-for-4 with four RBIs, adding a two-run double in the fourth on a ball that bounced off the left-field wall.

Brendan Harris, among those competing against him, went 2-for-3 and made a nice leaping grab at shortstop.

The bad

A.J. Schugel got hit around in the first inning, giving up three runs on five hits (one of which was a two-run homer by Gerardo Parra). He then settled down in the second, retiring the side while giving up a walk, prompting manager Mike Scioscia to believe it was mostly nerves that initially hindered him. “He was just amped up,” Scioscia said. “He was trying to throw the ball hard. He has a good arm, but he was overthrowing a bit. Second inning, he changed speeds more and he pitched. Great makeup, really good arm, and I think the second inning is more indicative of how A.J.’s career will go.”

Angels pitchers as a whole have given up 38 runs in 44 innings, which amounts to a 7.77 ERA. But hardly any of those who have taken the mound will be on the Opening Day roster.

Best play (that I saw)

With the D-backs spraying the ball everywhere in the first inning against Schugel, Trumbo bailed his starting pitcher out, diving to his right to snag a hard-hit line drive off the bat of Eric Hinske and almost tagging out A.J. Pollock for the double play.

Best quote

Hamilton, on his debut: “It was weird today, being in the dugout and having the uniform actually on. I walked by [Jered Weaver] and said, ‘This is kind of weird.’ He said, ‘Yeah, it is — but I like it.’”


Trout gives back to alma mater, plus other notes …

MV4!Mike Trout, three years removed from high school, is giving his alma mater some Major League treatment.

As part of winning the Player’s Choice Award for the American League’s Outstanding Rookie, the Major League Baseball Players Association offered to reward $20,000 to a foundation of his choice. Trout chose the Millville High School baseball program, where he starred as a Thunderbolt before being the Angels’ first-round pick in 2009.

Millville baseball coach Roy Hallenbeck said he’s going to “try to make it stretch as long as we can,” but the team has already purchased new gray uniforms and alternate tops, and on Friday, they finished sodding the field in anticipation for the start of practice in March.

Don’t worry, there’s more coming.

In January, BODYARMOR SuperDrink, the company that signed Trout to its first major endorsement deal, decided to get involved, too.

“Mike was on board from the beginning,” Hallenbeck said, “and every time I talk to those guys [at BODYARMOR], they say he brings it up all the time. He’s really excited about that project working out and helping us out.”

BODYARMOR hasn’t said exactly how much they plan to contribute, but their involvement — which could include sprucing up the press box, adding a big net behind home plate, providing “L” screens and, most importantly, renovating the batting cages — was recently approved by the board of education.

By the end of March, Hallenbeck believes, everything will be finished.

And by early June, the field will be rededicated to bear Trout’s name.

“There’s no major construction differences,” Hallenbeck said, “but it’s just going to be adding a lot of really nice bells and whistles to what we already have.”

With Cactus League games starting on Saturday, here are some notes to get you caught up on the first 11 days of camp …

  • Josh HamiltonRyan Madson had a setback after a Feb. 1 bullpen session and is taking it slow. He won’t be ready by Opening Day and there’s a chance he won’t pitch in any Spring Training games in March, but the Angels are hopeful they’ll have him at some point in the early portion of the season.
  • Albert Pujols is still working his way back from arthroscopic right knee surgery. Don’t expect him to appear in games until mid-March.
  • The early start of camp has prompted Angels manager Mike Scioscia to change things up a bit, with no intrasquad games, very little live batting practice and plenty of rest for the regulars. The starting pitchers won’t start until March 1, which makes it even harder to find bodies for the split-squad opener. The elimination of the third-to-first move has also forced Scioscia to tinker.
  • Josh Hamilton came in lighter than normal, maintaining his end-of-season weight of 225 thanks to a healthier diet. Trout did the opposite.
  • Hamilton can expect to hear loud boos when he returns to Texas on April 5, thanks to some comments he made on TV.
  • Here’s what we know about the lineup: Trout will lead off, Pujols will bat third, Hamilton will bat fourth and Trumbo — at least at the start — will bat fifth. It may be a revolving door between Howie Kendrick, Alberto Callaspo and Erick Aybar in the No. 2 spot, with Chris Iannetta and Peter Bourjos hitting lower in the lineup.
  • Scioscia doesn’t sound like a man who’s ready to fully commit to Bourjos as his starting center fielder, continuing to leave the door open for Vernon Wells to get some playing time in left field, which would move Trout to center. But some of that may be the Angels’ skipper trying to be sensitive to Wells’ situation. Scioscia has also said Garrett Richards and Jerome Williams are fighting for spots in the rotation, even though the five are already set.
  • The Angels have two big lingering free agents in Jason Vargas and Scott Downs.
  • Ernesto Frieri is trying to add a cutter, and thinks it can do wonders.
  • Sean Burnett is dealing with a back ailment, but it isn’t expected to hinder him much. Michael Kohn is looking great after Tommy John surgery. Veteran relievers Tony Pena (setback after Tommy John) and Mitch Stetter (bulging disk) are working themselves back slowly, currently throwing off flat ground. First base prospect C.J. Cron (shoulder surgery) is doing everything but throwing and is targeting Opening Day, in Double-A.
  • Kendrick and C.J. Wilson don’t expect to be hindered by offseason elbow surgery.
  • Two reclamation projects are currently working out in Minor League camp — former Nationals closer Chad Cordero and former A’s first-round pick Ben Fritz.
  • Aybar (Dominican Republic), reliever Fernando Cabrera (Puerto Rico) and first baseman Efren Navarro (Mexico) will leave camp early to take part in the World Baseball Classic.
  • The Angels have a new partnership with Ticketmaster. Individual tickets go on sale tomorrow.
  • In case you missed them, here are stories on Trout, Pujols, Wells, Bourjos, Jered Weaver, the new rotation trio, The Big Three, Trumbo, Hamilton, Omar Vizquel, Chris Iannetta, Hank Conger, Scott Cousins, Bill Hall, Randal Grichuk, Kaleb Cowart, Kole Calhoun, Bobby Cassevah, Hiroyuki Kobayashi and Travis Witherspoon.
  • For a breakdown of the Angels’ Spring Training roster, click here. … For the videos we’ve put together, click here. … For photos, click here.

Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Mark Trumbo, Mike Trout


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