Results tagged ‘ Bobby Cassevah ’

Angels in search of a backup catcher …

The Angels, feeling a little uneasy about Hank Conger‘s throwing woes, are in search of a veteran backup catcher as Spring Training winds down, an industry source confirmed to on Saturday. Danny Knobler of first reported the Angels’ interest.

Conger, 25, came into camp as the clear-cut favorite to back up catcher Chris Iannetta and has hit well, batting .381 with two homers and 11 RBIs. The Angels like the switch-hitting Conger — who has always hit and has come a long way with his footwork and receiving skills behind the plate — but they need him to correct his throwing issues, which led to three errant throws on Sunday to up his spring total to at least five.

With rosters being pared down this time of year, the Angels will look to the waiver wire to add a steady, inexpensive, veteran presence behind the plate. They have an open spot on the 40-man roster after slipping Bobby Cassevah, now with the Rockies, through waivers. They’ll have some competition, though, with the Phillies, Pirates and Rays also looking for catching help, according to’s Peter Gammons.

The Angels still believe in Conger. So in the event of an acquisition, they’re likely to option him to Triple-A to start the season so he can find the consistent release point that has eluded him. Conger has one option year left. John Hester (on the 40-man) and Luke Carlin (a non-roster invitee) are the other two catchers technically vying for the backup job, but both have had very inconsistent time in the Majors throughout their careers.


So, who rounds out the Angels’ bullpen? …

Remember all that talk about the Angels’ bullpen being deeper, better heading into 2013? Well, that’ll probably be the case eventually, but leading up to Opening Day, a setback and some spring disappointments have made it a bit difficult to identify the seven relievers who will begin the regular season with the big club.

With 17 days left until the April 1 opener in Cincinnati, and Ryan Madson opening the season on the disabled list, five relievers are still set: righties Kevin Jepsen and Ernesto Frieri, lefties Sean Burnett and Scott Downs, and long man Jerome Williams.

That leaves two spots and some haziness because …

Michael Kohn, who progressed very quickly from April 2012 Tommy John surgery, has struggled with mechanics and off-speed pitches in recent outings and was optioned to Minor League camp on Friday.

Hiroyuki Kobayashi, signed as a Minor League free agent from Japan, was released in early March because he wasn’t throwing as hard as they expected.

Bobby Cassevah — homegrown, out of options and coming off a rough 2012 — cleared waivers and opted for free agency, eventually hooking on with the Rockies.

Veteran Tony Pena had a setback from Tommy John and is trying to work through it in Minor League camp.

Lefty Brandon Sisk, acquired for Ervin Santana and most of his salary, was sent down about a week ago.

Fernando Cabrera, another veteran obtained on a Minor League deal, has spent most of the spring pitching for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic (2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 3 SO).

Andrew Taylor, the lefty who had a very brief stint with the Angels as a September callup, has a slight tear in his labrum and won’t pitch for a while. Granted, he didn’t really have a chance anyway.

With that out of the way, here are the options the Angels are left with (keep in mind that the seventh relief spot — the team hopes — may only be relevant for a few weeks, until Madson comes off the DL) …

Garrett Richards

I identified him early in camp as a guy who seems poised to land a full-year bullpen spot, and more than a month in, there’s no reason to change my mind. Yes, his future is best as a starter. Yes, the Angels will preserve starting-pitching depth by keeping Richards stretched out in the Minors. Yes, Richards struggled as a reliever last year. But Richards’ stuff plays as a reliever, he should be better if his role remains consistent, it’s time for him to be up in the big leagues for a full season, and putting him on the roster gives the Angels their best 25 heading into the season (I don’t think that’s up for dispute). Besides, they have better rotation depth 6-10 than they did last year.

Nick Maronde

In some ways, Maronde’s situation is quite the opposite of Richards’ — his future is probably as a reliever, but it’s probably best to keep him stretched out in the Minors. Why? He’s still developing and the Angels don’t need another lefty. Even with how camp has gone, I still expect Maronde to start for Triple-A Salt Lake, getting some valuable experience heading into a potential bullpen role in 2014 (with Downs a lingering free agent).

David Carpenter

That last spot may be Carpenter’s to lose at this point. In 2012, the 25-year-old right-hander posted a 4.76 ERA in 39 2/3 innings in the big leagues and a 2.75 ERA in 19 2/3 innings in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. But he hasn’t really stuck out this spring, giving up three runs on seven hits and four walks in 6 1/3 innings.

Chad Cordero

“The Chief” is a fantastic story, but he can’t really make the team out of Spring Training … right? “Never say never,” one member of the organization said. He is still in camp, and he bounced back in his last outing five days ago. Still, though, a long, long shot.


Lefty Mitch Stetter, the longtime Brewers reliever, hasn’t pitched yet because of a bulging disk in his back that was bothering him early in camp, but he’s expected to get in a game at some point this weekend. … Robert Coello, 28, appeared in six games with the Blue Jays last year and has given up five runs in 2 2/3 innings this spring. … Kevin Johnson, who posted a 3.69 ERA in the Angels’ Double-A and Triple-A affiliates last year, has given up four runs in 5 2/3 Cactus League innings.

Outside help? 

The likes of Francisco Rodriguez, Jose Valverde and Brian Wilson, among others, are still out there, and the Angels do have an open spot on the 40-man. Not sure anyone available is an upgrade, though.

 — Alden 

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


MRI is clean, but Madson won’t throw for another week

Two things became clear regarding Ryan Madson on Wednesday: What he’s dealing with in his surgically-repaired elbow is nothing more than inflammation, and Opening Day is essentially out the window.

The former was revealed in a Tuesday MRI that came back clean. The latter is the result of Madson being shut down 13 days ago and unable to throw again for another week, when he’s re-evaluated.

Madson won’t flatly dismiss pitching the ninth inning on April 1 in Cincinnati, but he’s no longer in a race against time to make it back by then.

“That’s what I was going towards and it maybe got me in a little bit of trouble,” Madson said. “Now I don’t have a date in mind. I just want to let my arm take me and guide me.”

Madson first felt uncommon soreness in his elbow, which underwent Tommy John surgery on April 11 of last year, during his fourth bullpen session of the offseason on Feb. 1. Since then, he’s only been getting treatment. And for the next seven days, he’ll be on a strengthening program.

“I’m just going to listen to the trainers and my arm, especially, and just let it do its thing and not try to put any limits or goals on it,” said Madson, who was signed to a one-year, incentive-laden contract over the offseason. “But I can’t wait to go out on the field and pitch in a game. I want everybody to know that, the fans to know that – I am eager to get out there, and that’s what got me in trouble in the first place.”

The last thing the Angels want to do is rush his recovery, so they’ll wait until all the swelling subsides before allowing him to pick up a baseball again.

“I think that what he has is definitely manageable,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “It’s just going to be a matter of following some protocol to make sure he doesn’t do a little too much, too soon. He’s hopefully going to feel better fairly quickly.”

If Madson starts the season on the disabled list – all but a certainty at this point – Ernesto Frieri would probably be the closer, with Sean Burnett, Scott Downs and Kevin Jepsen the other options in the back end.

Madson’s temporary absence would also create an additional opening in the bullpen, with Michael Kohn, Garrett Richards, Hiroyuki Kobayashi, David Carpenter and Bobby Cassevah (out of options) among a large, eclectic group competing.

“I think there’s depth there,” Scioscia said, “and Ryan is a guy that can really solidify some roles down there and we look forward to that. I think from Day 1, we should be in a position to hold leads better than we did last year. And we expect Ryan to eventually be part of that.”


Sun sets on the Arizona Fall League …

The Scottsdale Scorpions, made up partly of Angels prospects, finished the Arizona Fall League 15-16 — not good enough to qualify for the championship game — and top prospect Kaleb Cowart (pictured) struggled. The 20-year-old, switch-hitting, former first-round pick, who rose to No. 1 in the Angels’ system by the end of the season, posted a .200/.265/.283 slash line with one home run in 17 AFL games. As one scout said, he was simply “out of gas.” The same thing happened to Mike Trout in 2011, playing a lot in September with the Angels and scuffling big time while on the same team as Bryce Harper in the AFL. So, what do you make of Cowart’s fall? Nothing. He’s still a talented prospect the Angels hope can be their everyday third baseman by 2014 (though 2015 may be a safer bet). Below are how the rest of the Angels prospects did in the AFL. For more info on the league, go here, and for more info on these guys, click here

LHRP Buddy Boshers: 4 R (3 ER), 3 SO, 3 BB, 2 2/3 IP

RHRP Bobby Cassevah: 2-0, 3.13 ERA, 6 GS, 23 IP, 18 SO, 8 BB

RHRP Ryan Chaffee: 8 R, 9 SO, 6 BB, 6 1/3 IP

RHRP Kevin Johnson: 3.75 ERA, 7 SO, 1 BB, 12 IP

C Carlos Ramirez: 6-for-24, 4 RBI

OF Randal Grichuk: .228/.297/.351, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 16 G

CF Travis Witherspoon: .219/.288/.411, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 21 G


Angels in the Arizona Fall League …

The 20th Arizona Fall League season starts Tuesday, with the Angels — along with the Giants, Nationals, Phillies and Red Sox — sending prospects to make up the Scottsdale Scorpions. The Rising Stars Game is Nov. 3 (Salt River Fields at Talking Stick) and the championship game for the six-team league will be Nov. 17 (Scottsdale Stadium).

Last year, Mike Trout played in this event. This year, Randal Grichuk — who’s known mostly for being drafted a spot before Trout but has quietly put together a nice season — is going. Nick Maronde was going to go, but since he missed the early part of the year with a strained lat muscle and he pitched through September, the Angels decided that he hold off. Veteran-ish reliever Bobby Cassevah is taking his place.

The one to watch here, though, will be 20-year-old third baseman Kaleb Cowart, who became the Angels’ top-ranked prospect after a solid A ball season. Below is the full slate of Angels representatives. Carlos Ramirez is on the taxi squad, which means he’ll only be activated Wednesdays and Saturdays. Brandon Emanuel, pitching coach for Class A Inland Empire, is part of the Scorpions’ coaching staff.

LHRP Buddy Boshers

Draft: 4th round, 2008
Age: 24
2012 (A+,AA): 2.98 ERA, 45 G (11 GF), 63 1/3 IP, 10.7 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 1.25 WHIP
Career (5 seasons): 3.81 ERA, 150 G (34 GS, 26 GF), 324 IP, 8.5 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 2.56 WHIP prospect rank: Unranked

RHRP Bobby Cassevah

Draft: 34th round, 2004
Age: 27
2012 (A+, AAA): 5.79 ERA, 49 G (18 GF), 51 1/3 IP, 5.6 SO/9, 3.7 BB/9, 1.66 WHIP
Career (8 seasons): 4.53 ERA, 268 G (14 GS, 96 GF), 401 2/3 IP, 6.1 SO/9, 4.5 BB/9, 1.59 WHIP prospect rank: Unranked
Cassevah isn’t what you would call a prospect, by any stretch, combining to make 46 appearances in the Majors from 2010-11 (posting a 2.87 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP). But he began the season on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation and never quite got right throughout the year — making four appearances in the Majors and struggling mightily in the PCL — which is probably why he wants to get more work in this fall.

RHRP Ryan Chaffee

Drafted: 3rd round, 2008
Age: 24
2012 (A+, AA): 2.60 ERA, 55 G (21 GF), 65 2/3 IP, 11.5 SO/9, 4.9 BB/9, 1.17 WHIP
Career (4 seasons): 5.36 ERA, 132 G (58 GS, 27 GF), 393 IP, 8.8 SO/9, 4.6 BB/9, 1.47 WHIP prospect rank: Unranked

RHRP Kevin Johnson

Drafted: 20th round, 2010
Age: 24
2012 (AA, AAA): 3.69 ERA, 56 G (41 GF), 18 SV, 63 1/3 IP, 4.4 SO/9, 2.3 BB/9, 1.39 WHIP
Career (3 seasons): 4.34 ERA, 121 IP (10 GS, 72 GF), 193 IP, 6 SO/9, 3.2 BB/9, 1.48 WHIP prospect rank: Unranked

C Carlos Ramirez

Drafted: 8th round, 2009
Age: 24
Bats: Right
2012 (AA): .204/.312/.276, 2 HR, 23 RBI, 85 G
Career (4 seasons): .269/.371/.416, 25 HR, 134 RBI, 291 G prospect rank: 19th on Angels
Prospect reportRamirez still has some things to work out offensively, as his numbers haven’t shown much consistency from league to league. Though he’s notched a very respectable average across four levels, the disparity between his performance in the hitter-friendly California League and each of his other stops leaves some room for concern. Ramirez is a strong defensive backstop, knows how to handle a pitching staff and has the makeup that should allow him to be an everyday catcher. If the bat doesn’t come around, his glove could land him a job as a backup at the highest level.

3B Kaleb Cowart

Drafted: 1st round (18th overall), 2010
Age: 20
Bats: Switch
2012 (A, A+): .276/.358/.452, 16 HR, 103 RBI, 14 SB, 135 G
Career (3 seasons): .275/.349/.437, 24 HR, 150 RBI, 25 SB, 214 G prospect rank: 1st on the Angels, 46th overall
Prospect reportCowart is a switch-hitter with a lot of bat speed that generates plus raw power from both sides of the plate. He started tapping into that power more consistently as he’s started to mature and learn the strike zone better. He’s athletic and has decent speed, which should help him stay at third long term. So will the plus arm that made him a legitimate pitching prospect in high school. He handled full-season ball well, earning a promotion from Class A to the Class A Advanced California League in June.

OF Randal Grichuk

Drafted: 1st round (24th overall), 2009
Age: 21
Bats: Right
2012 (A+): .298/.335/.488, 18 HR, 71 RBI, 16 SB, 135 G
Career (4 seasons): .296/.331/.507, 39 HR, 195 RBI, 26 SB, 305 G prospect rank: 12th on the Angels
Prospect reportGrichuk may forever be paired witih the other high school outfielder taken by the Angels in the first round of the 2009 Draft. What that outfielder, Mike Trout, has done, speaks for itself, but Grichuk has had a harder time moving up the ladder, largely because of injury issues. Grichuk was actually taken one slot above Trout, but 2012 was his first season with more than 300 at-bats. When he’s healthy, he’s shown glimpses of the pop that made him a first rounder along with some base-stealing acumen. He needs more time to work on the holes in his swing, but he’s still young enough to tap into that raw power and be a run-producing corner outfielder, taking a positive step forward in 2012.

CF Travis Witherspoon

Drafted: 12th round, 2009
Age: 23
Bats: Right
2012 (A+,AA): .268/.350/.418, 13 HR, 48 RBI, 34 SB (11 CS), 121 G
Career (4 seasons): .264/.332/.417, 42 HR, 171 RBI, 110 SB, 373 G prospect rank: 7th on the Angels
Prospect reportWitherspoon has lots of tools and the potential to be an above-average everyday player when everything comes together. He has a solid arm and plus speed, and he knows how to run a route, making him an excellent defender in the outfield. On the other side of the ball, he has the strength and bat speed to hit for power but still has work left to do in taming his aggressive approach. He’s also a plus runner with good instincts and can do some damage on the basepaths, especially if he continues to develop patience and makes more contact at the plate. Witherspoon was promoted to Double-A Arkansas on June 20. He was placed on the disabled list on July 3, with a left quad strain.


Game 44: Angels-Athletics …

Angels (18-25)

Mike Trout, LF
Maicer Izturis, 3B
Albert Pujols, 1B
Kendrys Morales, DH
Mark Trumbo, RF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Erick Aybar, SS
Peter Bourjos, CF
John Hester, C

Pitching: LH C.J. Wilson (4-4, 3.35 ERA)

Athletics (22-21)

Coco Crisp, CF
Collin Cowgill, RF
Seth Smith, DH
Jonny Gomes, LF
Josh Donaldson, 3B
Cliff Pennington, SS
Adam Rosales, 2B
Daric Barton, 1B
Anthony Recker, C

Pitching: RH Graham Godfrey (0-3, 5.06 ERA)

Some pregame notes …

  • The left side is the best side. That’s not me sucking up to my new region of the country, it’s in reference to Morales, who’s just 3-for-20 as a right-handed hitter this season (where he hit yesterday) and has a .309 batting average from the left side (where he’s hitting today). But Mike Scioscia says that has more to do with the sample size than actuality, saying: “I think Kendrys showed a couple years ago that right-handed, there’s no doubt he’s a threat and can hit the ball out of every park. This year, he hasn’t had that many at-bats from that side because of just trying to keep him fresh and active from the left side. There’s no doubt he can swing it from that side, though.”
  • Pujols comes into this game with a .212/.256/.318 slash line, having gone 5-for-24 with a couple of homers since a three-hit game on May 15. “You have to keep it simple,” he said. “As much as you know it’s hard, you have to really keep it simple and go out there and put good swings. Sometimes, you’re going to feel good, and most of the time you won’t. The times you don’t feel good is when you have to survive until you get that streak going.”
  • Scioscia, on Bobby Cassevah‘s role in the bullpen: “He’s depth, and we’ll see when Bobby can pitch. Probably use him in the middle somewhere until he gets his feet on the ground. But last year, he had a terrific season for us. Nothing that says that kind of arm won’t move to the back of the bullpen as depth and be able to pitch, whether it’s the seventh, eighth or ninth inning, whatever. We’ll just see how it evolves.”
  • Chris Iannetta had his wrist protector off in the clubhouse — but only temporarily. He has to keep it on in case he re-aggravates it and is still about three weeks away from throwing.

Angels links from Monday …

Some AL West links …

And the Heat will need support from their front line to beat the Pacers in Game 5 today.


Game 43: Angels-Athletics …

Angels (18-24)

Mike Trout, LF
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Albert Pujols, 1B
Mark Trumbo, RF
Kendrys Morales, DH
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Erick Aybar, SS
Peter Bourjos, CF
Bobby Wilson, C

Pitching: RH Jerome Williams (4-1, 3.86 ERA)

Athletics (21-21)

Jemile Weeks, 2B
Coco Crisp, CF
Josh Reddick, RF
Kila Ka’aihue, DH
Seth Smith, LF
Josh Donaldson, 3B
Daric Barton, 1B
Kurt Suzuki, C
Cliff Pennington, SS

Pitching: LHP Tommy Milone (5-3, 4.09 ERA)

Some pregame notes …

  • So Vernon Wells (right thumb) will go under the knife, undergoing a procedure Tuesday that will keep him away from baseball activities until at least early August. Ryan Langerhans (separated right shoulder) will not require surgery, but was placed on the disabled list. With those two out, the Angels called up Kole Calhoun, who will be the fourth outfielder, and reliever Bobby Cassevah, who will help out a bullpen that had to account for 6 2/3 innings in Sunday’s 3-2, 13-inning loss.
  • As for how long the Angels will go with 14 relievers? Mike Scioscia was non-committal. “We’ll see how these couple days go, and then we’ll make a determination of where we want to be with our roster, the complextion and what our needs are.”
  • Scioscia’s also still unsure about Torii Hunter, who he hopes will join the Angels during this week’s road trip but can’t pinpoint a date. “He has a lot of things that he’s working through back home. As soon as he’s comfortable to get back, he will. We don’t have a definitive timeline.”
  • Wells’ loss and Torii’s absence means the Angels’ starting outfield is the same one that took the field today. When Hunter returns, it’s very clear that Trumbo will play left, Trout will play center and Hunter will play right field, with Bourjos only playing when Trumbo plays third. Trumbo has to play every day at this point.
  • Michael Kohn (Tommy John) was transferred to the 60-day DL to create room for Calhoun on the 40-man roster, btw.

Some links from Sunday …

  • Angels suffer a crushing loss (on multiple levels) at Petco
  • Notebook, on Wells and Langerhans injuries, the Angels’ creativity in the 11th and Aybar taking steps forward
  • Williams looking for fifth straight win vs. A’s

Some AL West links …

And LeBron James and Dwyane Wade had a BIG game on Sunday.


Game 25: Twins-Angels …

Twins (6-17)

Denard Span, CF
Alexi Casilla, 2B
Joe Mauer, DH
Josh Willingham, LF
Ryan Doumit, C
Chris Parmelee, 1B
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Clete Thomas, RF
Jamey Carroll, SS

Pitching: RH Liam Hendriks (0-1, 6.89 ERA)

Angels (9-15)

Erick Aybar, SS
Vernon Wells, LF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Kendrys Morales, DH
Torii Hunter, RF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Mark Trumbo, 3B
Chris Iannetta, C
Peter Bourjos, CF

Pitching: RH Jered Weaver (3-0, 2.02 ERA)

Some pregame notes …

  • Not the ideal lineup in terms of on-base percentage in front of Pujols today. Aybar and Wells have a combined (meaning, adding the two numbers up) OBP of .486. Pretty good for one player. Not so much for two. For Wells, it’s his first start in the 2-hole since 2007. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he’s trying to get more power at the top, saying: “We’re kind of going caveman on this lineup, just trying to go big.”
  • Scioscia, on the confidence of winning back-to-back wins: “There was a little bit of frustration to our start, but that points to a team with confidence because I don’t think you’d have any frustration if you weren’t confident. But these guys know they can play better. It’s good to get a couple of wins, and hopefully we can carry that momentum moving forward.
  • Mike Trout ran a 3.53 from home to first base on a bunt single yesterday. Scioscia and third-base coach Dino Ebel each said that’s the fastest they’ve ever seen.
  • Bobby Cassevah, activated off the DL and optioned to Salt Lake recently, has given up five runs in nine Minor League innings, good for a 5.00 ERA, including three runs in Triple-A on April 21. Asked if Cassevah is close to rejoining the Angels, Scioscia said: “I think his game is close. We’ll see how things pans out, but I think his game is more in line with what we saw when he was up here. He had a ways to go. He was really set back and it takes guys time to work their way back into their stuff and their command and everything.”

Some Angels links from Tuesday …

Some AL West links …

And former Dolphins, and prominent Chargers, linebacker Junior Seau died today. Tragic news.


Game 13: Athletics-Angels …

Athletics (6-7)

Jemile Weeks, 2B
Cliff Pennington, SS
Josh Reddick, RF
Yoenis Cespedes, CF
Jonny Gomees, LF
Seth Smith, DH
Kurt Suzuki, C
Kila Ka’aihue, 1B
Josh Donaldson, 3B

Starting: LH Tom Milone (1-1, 2.57 ERA)

Angels (4-8)

Maicer Izturis, 3B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Albert Pujols, 1B
Torii Hunter, RF
Vernon Wells, LF
Mark Trumbo, DH
Chris Iannetta, C
Erick Aybar, SS
Peter Bourjos, CF

Starting: LH C.J. Wilson (2-0, 1.38 ERA)

Some notes from pregame …

  • The Angels announced their four-year deal with Aybar via an informal luncheon today.
  • Asked about Mike Trout coming up, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said: “I don’t want it to be on a matter of need. I want it to be when Mike is ready to take an everyday position on our club. Whether that’s sooner rather than later, I can’t tell you. He is still 20 years old. He’s off to a great start, I think that’s what we all expected. He had a fractured Spring Training – first due to illness and then a little bit of shoulder tightness. He’s on the board, he’s playing extraordinarily well, as expected – or anticipated, I should say – and we know what Mike can deliver. When we get to the point where we feel like there’s an everyday position for him to impact the club, that’s when he’ll be here.”
  • Hunter had a long, closed-door meeting with manager Mike Scioscia prior to the game, but was coy about the subject matter, telling reporters, “We just talked about DH days and stuff like that.” Hunter may be trying to make himself available so Trumbo can get more at-bats.
  • Scioscia on Aybar batting eighth: “First just try to get Erick to catch his breath a little bit. He’s been grinding in the 1-hole for a while, and I think when Izzy’s playing, he’s a good option to set the table for the middle of our order, and it seemed like a good day to get Izzy up there and just let [Erick] hit down a little bit and catch his breath a little bit.”
  • Jordan Walden is available tonight despite pitching in the ninth on Wednesday.
  • Scioscia on Trumbo getting back to 3B: “He’s had some really good workouts, and yes, I think he’s definitely getting closer to getting back in there at third base and we’ll take a look at some things and see where he is.” The Angels’ skipper said the thought of sending Trumbo down for a little while to work on third base was thrown around, but dismissed very quickly.

Some links from Wednesday …

Some AL West links …

And the Miami Heat rolled past the Raptors.


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