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OC Register: Prospect Jack Kruger helps Angels to come-from-behind victory

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THE GAME: A day after the Angels scored six runs in the ninth to tie, they scored four in the ninth to pull out a 12-11 victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday afternoon at Surprise Stadium.

HITTING REPORT: Jack Kruger, the Angels’ top catching prospect, gave them a lead in the seventh with a three-run homer and he tied the score in the ninth with a three-run triple. Kruger is 6 for 15 this spring. “He’s just growing, especially as an offensive player,” Manager Brad Ausmus said. “He hit those balls hard. The home run to right-center was pretty impressive.” … Kevan Smith drove in two runs with a double and then David Fletcher drove in two with a double, erasing the Angels’ four-run deficit in the third inning. … Peter Bourjos had a single in three at-bats, which actually dropped his spring average to .462 (12 for 26).

PITCHING REPORT: Right-hander Matt Harvey recorded just four outs and allowed four runs. There was an error behind him and a blooper that fell in. Harvey struck out one and walked one. “I felt like things were all over the middle quite a bit,” Harvey said. “Just kind of out of whack. That’s expected in spring training. I’m not happy with it, but it’s something to work on and figure out what’s going on and just get ready for my next start.” Ausmus said Harvey had “the mid-spring training blues.” … Right-hander Cody Allen gave up two runs, including a homer to Hunter Pence. He had not allowed any runs in his first four innings. … Right-hander Ty Buttrey pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts. … Right-hander Luis Garcia pitched a scoreless inning, working around two walks. … After the Angels took their first lead of the day, right-hander Forrest Snow allowed the Rangers to go back on top when he gave up three runs in the seventh. He gave up two more in the eighth.

DEFENSE REPORT: Third baseman Taylor Ward tried to make a backhand play but he bobbled it for an error. It was his fourth error of the spring in 57 innings at third. … Catcher Jonathan Lucroy threw out a runner trying to steal second.

UP NEXT: The Angels have their first of two off days of the spring. They return to action on Wednesday at 6 p.m. PT against the Padres at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

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3 hours ago, TroutTrumbo said:

Kruger looks like a potential big bat hopefully the defense follows fairly soon. The Angels need a catcher for next season! Watching Lucroy throw is painfull and Smith is an awful catcher. 

Kruger isn't ever going to be a big bat (likely).  He's more likely to be a glove first guy with a solid bat.  He's a good receiver with a solid arm.  Don't know much about how he handles a staff but I've heard good thinks so far.  He's actually on the lighter side and more nimble than most (like Mathis.  seriously).  Typical college bat where he hit for a high avg and good obp in rookie ball in 2016.  Struggled the next year and then was pretty mixed last year from an approach standpoint.  Numbers were pretty even in both A+ and AA but his bb/k ratio went from 27/46 to 4/31.  

He's got enough bat to where his ability behind the dish will likely make him a decent platoon.  Less likely he grabs the lions share of at bats as the primary.  

Could get a cup o coffee this year in sept.  Likely ends up in AAA after a couple months.  Would be nice to see him build some rapport with Canning and Suarez.  

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6 hours ago, RBM said:

I would hope that Ausmus will allow Lucroy to call his own pitches this year. I thought the micro-manager ego play was behind us. 

I have no idea if Ausmus will be calling pitches but Scioscia wasn’t calling pitches.   Now do I think on occasion he could have, probably, but he wasn’t calling every pitch like some people believe.  

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14 hours ago, Stradling said:

I have no idea if Ausmus will be calling pitches but Scioscia wasn’t calling pitches.   Now do I think on occasion he could have, probably, but he wasn’t calling every pitch like some people believe.  

Scioscia didn’t call pitches. He called pickoffs and pitchouts and stuff. It seems Ausmus also does. 

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