We’re mere hours away from actual baseball being played between professional teams. Of course, all the things I said the other day still apply. Don’t care about the score (or even look at it, really), don’t care about the stats, find some interesting prospects and just enjoy yourself. We’ve all waited a really long time for this.
The Angels, of course, play not one, but two games today as they take part in some split squad action at home in Tempe against the Cubs and on the road in Scottsdale against the Giants.
MLB.com’s Angels beat writer Alden Gonzalez has been kind enough to snap a picture of the lineups for each game:
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) February 23, 2013
There are only last names on that list, so allow me to help you:
Vs. The Cubs @ Tempe
Only three expected regulars (four depending on how you think Conger will fit into the roster) will start in this game in Bourjos, Aybar and Trumbo.
Left-hander Nick Maronde (the number-two prospect in the Angels’ system according to Baseball America) and righties Michael Kohn, David Carpenter, Fernando Cabrera, Roberto Coello, Ryan Brasier, and Steve Geltz will also pitch in the game. Other notables that will see time in the game include Angels top prospect Kaleb Cowart who will see time at third base in relief of non-roster invitee Bill Hall and outfielder Travis Witherspoon who was a 12th round pick in 2009 and has moderate upside.
Vs. The Giants @ Scottsdale
This lineup is clearly the ‘B’ card for today with the only players projected to make the team being infielder Andrew Romine and outfielder Kole Calhoun—neither of whom are by any means guaranteed a roster spot when the team heads back to Anaheim. Luis Jimenez at third base is an intriguing player to watch if for no other reason than his huge power—which has a hard time actualizing against upper-level pitchers.
Infield prospect Alex Yarbrough will see time at second base and Bill Buckner (and I’m sure others) will pitch.
As for the opponents, the Giants starting lineup will feature most of their best players including reigning NL MVP and swoon-worthy catcher Buster Posey, second baseman Marco Scutaro, fat Pablo Sandoval, freakish Hunter Pence, and starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong.
The Cubs lineup will feature first baseman Anthony Rizzo and intriguing (albeit strike-out prone) prospect outfielder Brett Jackson.
The disappointing thing about today’s action, of course, is that Mike Scioscia and the Angels’ brass will keep many of the starters out of action for this weekend’s games. Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Chris Iannetta, Mike Trout, Howie Kendrick, and Alberto Callaspo will not play.
Both games get underway at 1:05 PM Arizona time, or high noon on the West Coast. Unfortunately neither game will be televised and only the Cubs game can be heard on local radio in Anaheim on KLAA. The Giants game is radioed locally in the Bay Area on KNBR and both games can be heard if you have an MLB.tv or At-Bat subscription (by the way, why don’t you have this already?).
Enjoy the games today, and again, please don’t take them seriously. Enjoy yourself—professional baseball is being played in February, don’t think about it too hard, just allow the calm waves of awesome wash over you.