Results tagged ‘ Chad Cordero ’

Rangers claim Mills, Angels make cuts …

The Rangers claimed left-handed starting pitcher Brad Mills off waivers from the Angels on Sunday.

Mills, 28, was out of options and had to clear waivers in order for the Angels to option him to the Minor Leagues. Mills has spent his six-year pro career pitching almost entirely in the Minors, going 41-38 with a 3.97 ERA in 112 games (106 starts). Acquired from the Blue Jays in exchange for Jeff Mathis in December 2011, Mills has logged 53 1/3 innings in parts of four seasons in the Majors, posting a 7.76 ERA. He has given up four runs in six Cactus League innings this spring.

Additionally, the Angels sent outfielders Scott Cousins and Matt Young, infielder Tommy Field, catcher Luke Carlin, and pitchers Nick Maronde, Fernando Cabrera, Chad Cordero and Kevin Johnson to Minor League camp. Their spring roster is now at 35.

Maronde, the Angels’ top pitching prospect, came into came battling for a spot in the bullpen, and even though he didn’t win it, the 23-year-old left-hander will remain in that role in Double-A. Maronde was primarily a starter in the Minors, going 11-4 with a 2.22 ERA in 31 games (29 starts) in the Minors. But he pitched well as a reliever with the Angels as a September callup, giving up one run in 12 appearances (six innings) and that’s where the organization sees his future.

“He’s got to maintain his velocity a little better in the ‘pen,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “I don’t think he has to go face hitters three, four times with just a fasteball slider, a changeup coming. He’s a guy that’s going to be go in in one-inning spurts and just do what you would hope a guy could posssilby pitch at the back end would do. He’s got that upsdide.”

Alden

Brewers 6, Angels 1 …

Josh Hamilton, Albert PujolsAlbert Pujols‘ surgically right knee has progressed to the point where he’s playing first base with no problems — though he wasn’t tested in his five-inning Tuesday debut — but now he’s dealing with something else.

“What’s giving him a little more trouble now is his heel, his foot,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “But he’s fine out there.”

Pujols has plantar fasciitis in his left foot. He dealt with it a little bit in 2004, ’05 and ’06 and didn’t miss any games, and the plan is for him to play Wednesday and Thursday (with at least one of those starts coming at first base).

Still, this is the kind of thing that can linger, so it’s worth monitoring.

Some more notes as the Angels moved to 5-13-4 this spring …

The good

Mike Trout went 1-for-3, driving in a run and running a long way to make a nice catch in the center field warning track.

David Carpenter, looking like a favorite for the final bullpen spot, got back-to-back outs in the sixth and has had a scoreless outing in eight of his nine appearances.

Howie Kendrick went 1-for-3 and has hit safely in all 14 of his Spring Training games, putting his batting average at .512.

The bad

Jason Vargas was tagged for five runs on eight hits (two of them homers) in 5 1/3 innings, putting his Cactus League ERA at 6.00.

Chad Cordero gave up a home run in two-thirds of an inning. Great story, but he’s now given up 12 runs in 4 2/3 innings and will probably be reassigned to Minor League camp pretty soon.

 

Mark Trumbo went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and is 9-for-42 this spring, with nine strikeouts and two walks.

Best play (that I saw)

Brewers center fielder Logan Schafer robbed Pujols of a potential homer to end the third inning, flipping the ball from his glove to his bare hand on the way down.

Best quote

Pujols, on his debut: “I could’ve played nine innings right now. But playing nine innings right now is being selfish. I don’t need to play nine innings right now, when there’s no need. So, take the rest and play smart when you can, because as soon as the season starts, my goal is to play over 155 games.”

Alden

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.

Others

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 

Dodgers 10, Angels 8 …

Jerome WilliamsJerome Williams was hit around on Thursday, giving up five runs (four earned) on five hits and two walks in his two-inning stint, putting his ERA at 11.25 in four Cactus League innings. It’s early – really early – but the 31-year-old right-hander hasn’t been able to put it together just yet.

“Jerome is working really hard, but he’s just getting behind every count,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He hasn’t been able to put guys away, and that’s a tough combo if you’re not getting ahead and you’re not putting guys away.”

Scioscia believes Williams’ good stuff “is there,” he just “hasn’t brought it into a game yet.”

More from Thursday in Glendale – another Angels loss (they’re 0-5-2) you can’t take much away from …

The good

Howie Kendrick blew up, going 3-for-3 with a single and a double off Clayton Kershaw and a solo homer off another southpaw, Ted Lilly.

Hiroyuki Kobayashi threw a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk while striking out one. The Japanese right-hander has given up one run in three innings this spring.

Chad Cordero, making his second spring appearance, gave up a double and a bloop single that scored a run, but also struck out two hitters.

The bad

Peter Bourjos, batting leadoff, went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts but is still batting .375 this spring.

Brad Mills, out of options, gave up four runs on four hits and two walks in two innings.

Alberto Callaspo went 0-for-3 with a couple of strikeouts and misplayed a grounder at third base – but he also made a nice diving play to his left.

Best play (that I saw)

Mark Trumbo made a nice diving stab to his right on a hard grounder in the first inning. It was the second nice play he’s made at first base – a position he could spend a lot of time at in April, given Albert Pujols’ recovery from knee surgery. He dropped a foul pop-up later in the game, but several players have had a hard time with this Arizona sun.

Best quote

Josh Hamilton, asked if it’s possible that an outfield with Bourjos and Mike Trout gives up no triples all season: “It’d be close to possible, but you think of a ball being hit the wrong way or something, that’s the way this game is. But if everything worked out perfectly, then it’s a possibility.”

Alden

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.”

Alden

Mariners 9, Angels 8 …

Angels Mariners Spring Baseball

Plenty of story lines in the Angels’ fourth Cactus League game of the spring. Mike Trout debuted, Kendrys Morales faced his former team and Chad Cordero made his first appearance in a professional game since 2011.

That put Garrett Richards, making his spring debut, way in the background.

Richards worked two innings, giving up an unearned run on two hits while walking none and striking out one. The 24-year-old right-hander has been working with pitching coach Mike Butcher on keeping his posture straight as he drives towards home plate. Richards believes that has given him more control over his fastball, which will ultimately help him get ahead of hitters.

“Last year, I felt like I was a little bit herky jerky,” Richards said. “Now, I just feel like I’m free and easy. I’m throwing the ball about 80 percent and I don’t feel like I’m losing any velocity or any sharpness on my ball. I feel really good right now.”

Here are some quick hits on the Mariners’ (3-1) walk-off victory over the Angels (0-4), a game that saw each team notch 14 hits.

The good

Trout, leading off and playing left field, singled on a chopper in his first 2013 plate appearance, then flied out to shortstop and drew a walk before exiting. So, he’s hitting .500 in the Cactus League — but I’m not really sure what his WAR is yet.

The first batter Cordero saw in the bottom of the third, Brendan Ryan, hit a solo homer to left-center field. But the 30-year-old — who racked up 113 saves for the Expos/Nats from 2005-07, had shoulder surgery in 2008, lost his 11-week-old daughter in 2010, left baseball in 2011 and is now trying to make a comeback in the Angels’ Minor League camp — retired the next three batters on flyouts. He sat between 89 and 91 mph, where he’s always been, and said he “felt like a rookie again.”

Hank Conger, catching while Chris Iannetta started at DH, hit the Angels’ first home run of the spring — a two-out, three-run shot to left-center field in the first inning — then hit an RBI double and added a two-out RBI single, giving him five RBIs. His throwing may still be a little inconsistent, but his bat may get him on the roster.

Chad CorderoThe bad

Luis Jimenez, ranked sixth in the Angels’ system, made two errors at third base. He dropped a fly ball in the first inning and had a liner bounce off his glove in the fifth.

Kole Calhoun had a couple of misplays at first base, bobbling a grounder before making the out and then having another one go through his legs. He won’t be counted on to play much first base, though. Mike Scioscia just wanted to get the lefty-hitting outfielder in the lineup today.

Mark Sappington (taking in the fifth round in 2012) and Matt Oye (in the Angels system the last four years) came over from Minor League camp and struggled, giving up a combined six runs on seven hits in the seventh and eighth. R.J. Alvarez (a third-rounder last year) suffered the loss after giving up a triple to Francisco Martinez and a walk-off single to Brian Moran in the bottom of the ninth.

Best play (that I saw)

In case you needed any reminders, Peter Bourjos is fast. After drawing his second walk, he moved from first to third — third! — on a wild pitch. He recalled doing that a couple times in the Minors.

Best quote

Cordero (pictured top right) on Trout: “He’s like one giant muscle.”

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

Alden

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