I’m not sure I’ll get around to posting about every single Cactus League game that the Angels play this spring—trust me, it wouldn’t be worth it. But when something interesting happens, I’ll sum things up.
This weekend, the Angels played their first Spring Training games, engaging in split squad action yesterday, dropping both games—11-2 to the Cubs and 4-1 to the Giants. Neither game was televised and most of the regulars did not play. In fact, many of the regulars will be held out of the lineup until March due to the long, World Baseball Classic-induced spring schedule, not wanting to overwork them ahead of real games.
Some positives from the game against the Cubs include Peter Bourjos walking and singling to left in his two at-bats, Erick Aybar doubling in a run in the first, and few prospective relievers impressing. Michael Kohn—trying to work his way back from Tommy John surgery—struck out two in his inning of work, as did Fernando Cabrera and David Carpenter.
On the negative side, Angels’ number-two overall prospect (according to Baseball America) Nick Maronde gave up a walk, two hits and three runs over just two-thirds of an inning.
In the game against the Giants, non-roster invite Matt Young—who started in leftfield—went three-for-three with three singles, while prospect third baseman Luis Jimenez doubled. Starting pitcher Brad Mills retired all six batters he faced striking out one and Mike Piazza (no, not that one) retired the side in the bottom-of-the-eighth.
This afternoon, the Angels hosted their division rivals, the Athletics, in Tempe in the first televised game of the year. The laborious four-hour contest started with starting pitcher Barry Enright struggling in his Spring debut lasting just two-thirds of an inning, giving up four hits—including doubles to Chris Young and Seth Smith—a walk and three runs.
The Angels went on to lose 7-5 despite solid contributions once again from Matt Young, who is making his case to be the team’s fifth outfielder going 2-for3 with a double. His main competition Kole Calhoun also slogged a double and made a fantastic leaping catch in rightfield to take away extra bases.
Utility player Bill Hall hit what should have been a home run in the seventh, but a missed call by the umpiring crew relegated him to a double. Hall also played first base in the game—a position he has never played at the Major League level—as the Angels try to turn him into the kind of super-utility player they currently lack on their roster.
Again, remember, the results of spring training games mean nothing so please don’t get wrapped up in the fact that your Angels are 0-3 to start their Cactus League schedule. Many of the regulars are still being held out of games and will be for another few days.
In other news, Yankees’ outfielder Curtis Granderson will miss the next 10 weeks with a broken forearm which has spurned on some rumours that Angels outfielder Vernon Wells could replace him. When asked, Wells said the politically correct thing and it was boring.
Although Wells would be a marked improvement over the likes of Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera for the Yankees, it’s unlikely a deal gets done considering how much of Wells’ contract the Angels would have to eat.
Being a Blue Jays fan, I’ll admit to dancing in delirious pleasure when Wells was dealt to Anaheim, but there’s no way that contract gets dealt again unless the Angels basically pay the entirety of it.
Tomorrow, the Angels will take on the Mariners in Peoria at 12:05 pm on the West Coast.