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OC Register: Angels pick Trevor Cahill for Opening Day start


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TEMPE, Ariz. — Trevor Cahill is going to be the Angels’ Opening Day starter.

Although it’s likely not the way the Angels scripted their rotation when spring training began, Cahill so far is the only one of the starters who has gotten through spring training without any health issues. His 78 pitches in his last start were the most that any Angels starter has thrown this spring.

“We were kind of juggling injuries and we weren’t sure (who was going to start the opener),” Manager Brad Ausmus said on Tuesday. “Ultimately I felt Cahill was the best fit.”

Cahill, 31, will start the March 28 game at Oakland. He pitched with the A’s for the first three years of his career, and again last season. He was the Oakland’s Opening Day starter in 2011.

“Any time you can pitch the first game of the season, it’s special,” Cahill said. “I think the biggest thing is, as we all know, it’s one of many and not worth any more than any of the other ones. My goal is to go out there and pitch like I normally do and don’t try to do too much.”

Matt Harvey will pitch the second game, followed by Felix Peña and Tyler Skaggs to round out the four-game series in Oakland. Jaime Barría will then start the opener of a two-game series in Seattle, followed by Cahill.

Harvey would start the Angels home opener, on April 4 against the Texas Rangers.

Andrew Heaney, who was projected to be in the rotation, will start the season on the injured list. Heaney is out with elbow inflammation, but he said he’s felt good after two days of throwing.

“It’s been good, I think we’re on the right track,” Heaney said. “I think it’s just the intensity ramp-up that’s going to be the crucial part of it.”

Last year Heaney had a similar issue late in spring training, and he made his debut on April 13. However, he said he might be farther off this time because he tried to “push through it a little more than I probably should have.”

Heaney said he has no idea how long it will take him to be able to pitch in games.

“I genuinely have not talked to them about a time frame or schedule,” he said. “I’m literally taking it one day at a time.”

ALSO

Justin Upton (knee tendinitis) and Zack Cozart (strained calf) were in the lineup for the Angels on Tuesday night. It was the first game of the spring for Upton, and the first game since March 1 for Cozart. Both are expected to be ready by Opening Day. …

Firefighters were called to Tempe Diablo Stadium about five hours before Tuesday’s game to extinguish a fire from one of the grounds crew tractors. Thick black smoke rose from the tractor, which was parked near the first-base dugout, for a few minutes. There were no injuries. …

Dan Jennings beat Peter Bourjos to win the team-wide ping-pong tournament that had been ongoing for most of the spring.

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