Whose coming and going in Los Angeles Angels camp.
By David Rice
A lot has happened in Spring Training for the Los Angeles Angels this week as we inch closer to the start of the 2016 season. Here is a recap of some of the comings and goings as Mike Scioscia and his coaching staff start to solidify the roster.
On Monday Deolis Guerra who the Angels signed during the Rule 5 Draft was lit up like a pinball machine giving up 3-1 9th inning lead by giving up two home runs and three runs to blow the game 4-3. On Wednesday the Angels put Guerra on waivers which he cleared as no team claimed him and then Guerra accepted an assignment to the minors by the Angels.
On Friday catcher Jett Bandy who was competing for the back-up catching spot with Geovany Soto and he was reassigned. to minor league camp despite batting .375 this Spring. The reason for this move is the resurgence of Soto who has gone from hitting below .200 in the first two weeks of the Spring to hitting .304 with three home runs and eight RBI’s with an OPS of 1.224. Soto has also thrown out 4 of 7 would be base stealers as well. His best day may have Tuesday as Soto came in late in the game and with the Angels trailing 5-4 in the bottom of the 8th Soto hit a game-tying homer, and then one inning later drew a bases-loaded walk to win the game 6-5.
On Thursday, Tyler Skaggs took a big step forward in his path to get back to the majors after having Tommy John surgery 18 months ago as he pitched two strong innings of relief against the Chicago White Sox. This was Skaggs first action vs. Major League hitters giving up one unearned run on one hit striking out two batters. Skaggs will still start the season on the disabled list, but he is on pace to join the rotation in late April which will be a big boost to the staff especially with the uncertainty behind C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver.
Weaver took a big step forward on Friday pitching five innings giving up three runs on five hits while striking out two batters. This was an encouraging sign for Weaver as this was the first time he took the mound since being diagnosed with a degenerative condition in his neck.
Wilson on the other hand has taken another step backward as he has been shut down from any throwing for the rest of Spring Training as he tries to come back from off-season elbow surgery. Wilson has yet to pitch to live hitting this Spring. With this development Wilson will most likely not pitch for the Angels until at least mid-May if not later. With Wilson out and Skaggs not ready that opens up a sport for either Nick Tropeano or Matt Shoemaker at least for the first few starts.
The Los Angeles Angels also acquired pitcher Troy Scribner from the Houston Astros for cash considerations Saturday. Scribner has never pitched higher than Double-A and will be assigned to the minor league camp. The move was only made to increase the Angels minor league pitching depth.
So as you can see the Los Angeles Angels have been busy this week and the next week to follow should be even busier as the Angels pare down their roster before next Monday’s opening day game against the Chicago Cubs. Let’s see what happens. To be continued…