The LA Angels wrapped up their exhibition season Tuesday night with an unusual game against So Cal rivals the LA Dodgers. The game was interrupted by a water main break which cancelled the game.
In the fifth inning the LA Angels were trailing the Dodgers 4-3 with two outs in the bottom of the fifth when the water main broke. After a lengthy delay the game was called by the umpiring crew. It was an inauspicious way to end the exhibition season with a record of 13 wins and 20 losses.
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In Spring Training record is not always important. What you should look at is how players are performing to a point and players health. The Angels have come out of Spring Training fairly healthy. The only players who are in danger of not being ready on Opening Day are pitcher Andrew Heaney who is battling elbow inflamation, and now Ian Kinsler has a hamstring injury that could force him to miss some time.
Kinsler has missed the last two games due to hamstring tightness. Zack Cozart has played second base in Kinsler’s absence. It is not known yet if Kinsler will the season opener. If Kinsler has to go to the disabled list Kaleb Cowart may be recalled from Salt Lake City. As for his lead-off spot Zack Cozart has filled in for Kinsler going 2 for 5 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Will Cozart get the call at lead-off if Kinsler is out is not a sure thing, but is likely. In the game J.C. Ramirez struggled with both his control and location. Ramirez threw 59 pitches with 34 of them being strikes. Ramirez gave up four runs on eight hits giving up two homers to Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig.
After the game the Angels finalized their Opening Day Roster by designating catcher Carlos Perez for assignment and sending reliever Felix Pena to Triple-A Salt Lake City. Perez will now have 10-days where he could be claimed by another team. If he is not picked up he could accept an assignment to Triple-A Salt Lake or elect to declare for free agency.
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Jefry Marte has officially made the team for the second consecutive season out of Spring Training. Chris Young also made the team as the fourth outfielder. In the bullpen Luke Bard claimed the final spot and Blake Wood also made the final cut as did Noe Ramirez.
The other big announcement came with the starting rotation. Matt Shoemaker will start on Saturday in Oakland and Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani will make His MLB debut on Sunday in Oakland as the fourth starter meaning that J.C. Ramirez will most likely fill out the fifth spot in the rotation and start Monday’s home opener against Cleveland.
The question will be if Andrew Heaney will make a start within the first week of the season. If not, Garrett Richards will start on Tuesday against Cleveland and that would mean Ohtani would most likely make his home debut next Sunday against the Oakland A’s.
We will have to wait and see how things turn out over the next week. So let’s get ready for Thursday.
Here is the Opening Day Roster:
Catchers – Martin Maldonado, Rene Rivera.
First Base – Luis Valbuena, Albert Pujols, Jefry Marte
Second Base – Ian Kinsler (back-up Zack Cozart)
Shortstop -Andrelton Simmons (back-up Zack Cozart)
Third Base – Zack Cozart, (Back-ups Jefry Marte, Luis Valbuena)
Outfielders – Justin Upton, Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun (Back-up Chris Young)
Starting Rotation – Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, Matt Shoemaker, Shohei Ohtani, J.C. Ramirez, and Andrew Heaney (injured).
Bullpen – Blake Parker, Cam Bedrosian, Jim Johnson, Jose Alvarez, Kenyan Middleton, Noe Ramirez, Blake Wood, Luke Bard.
2018 is almost here fasten your seat belt and get ready.