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OC Register: Angels finish spring training with a few roster decisions to make


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PEORIA, Ariz. — The Angels played their final game of the spring in Arizona on Saturday, and continued trimming their roster, but they still have a few decisions left to make before Opening Day on Thursday.

After the Angels sent down reliever Matt Ramsey and outfielder Cesar Puello on Saturday morning, they were left with 29 healthy players in major league camp.

That includes just nine relievers.

Cody Allen is guaranteed a spot as the closer, and Cam Bedrosian, Hansel Robles, Luis Garcia and Noé Ramírez are out of options. Ty Buttrey, Justin Anderson and Luke Bard have options. Dan Jennings is not on the 40-man roster.

If the Angels want to keep all nine, the simplest scenario is to option Bard, who is the least experienced, and keep the other eight in the majors. But it’s possible the Angels are exploring trading one of the pitchers who is out of options.

Normally a team would have seven relievers, but the Angels seem likely to open the season with an extra arm because the starters have had various setbacks in spring training that prevented from getting their pitch counts built up to the normal level.

As for the position players, the Angels still have a few moves to make. By sending out Puello, the Angels were left with just four outfielders: Mike Trout, Justin Upton, Kole Calhoun and Peter Bourjos.

The Angels have three catchers, but Kevan Smith will almost certainly be the backup to Jonathan Lucroy, with Roberto Peña to start in the minors.

If the Angels keep eight relievers, that leaves room for just six infielders, most likely Andrelton Simmons, Zack Cozart, Albert Pujols, Justin Bour, David Fletcher and Tommy La Stella. That leaves Wilfredo Tovar and Matt Thaiss still to be sent down.

Pujols will be the normal DH, with Bour at first, Simmons at shortstop and Cozart at third.

It remains to be seen how the Angels will use Fletcher and La Stella.

Although Fletcher was impressive as a rookie last year, La Stella actually played more than twice as many innings at second as Fletcher this spring, while Fletcher moved around the field. La Stella also hits left-handed and has a career .345 on-base percentage, compared with Fletcher’s .316 last year.

Both players could bounce around the field, playing second or third when Cozart needs a day off. Ausmus said Cozart may not be ready to play every day since he missed much of the spring with a strained calf. Ausmus said Upton may also need more days off early because of his spring training injury, and Fletcher played four games in left field this spring.

“He’s been outstanding,” Ausmus said of Fletcher. “He’s played all over the place. He’s a valuable utility-type guy. Good bat-to-ball ability. He’s obviously well-liked on the team.”

The Angels’ 40-man roster currently sits at 39. If they add Bourjos and Jennings, they will need to clear one more spot.

TROUT DAY

The Angels will celebrate Trout’s new 12-year contract with a public press conference at 3 p.m. Sunday, at the home plate gate outside of Angel Stadium. Fans are encouraged to attend. A ticket for the game is not required, but regular game-day prices will apply for parking.

ALSO

Fletcher was scratched from Saturday’s lineup because of a tight hamstring, but Ausmus said he will play Sunday. …

Matt Harvey was scheduled to throw about 80 pitches in a minor league game Saturday. The Angels had Harvey pitch in a minor league game so they could control the innings and make sure he got his full workload. Harvey is scheduled to make his regular-season debut in the second game of the season, next Friday in Oakland. …

Andrew Heaney has extended his throwing out to about 110 feet, Ausmus said. Heaney, who is going to start the season on the injured list because of elbow inflammation, will travel with the Angels to Southern California and continue his rehab there.

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Injured and rehabbing pitchers seems to be an ongoing, yearly thing. They do need the extra bullpen arm to start the season. Last year the bullpen was overworked.

Bedrosian and Robles can't be thrown out there too early and be expected to be fresh deep into the season. The starters have to chew up more innings and Allen has to be put in only for an inning or less till he can build up some confidence.

Pitching is always critical.

 

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I thought I read somewhere that the pitcher Jennings was assigned to minor league team -not sure if it was SLC or a AA team.

Glad to see Bourjos make the roster -- he started out with a great spring training at the plate and then tailed off a bit toward the end of ST.  It appears, amazingly so --  that six years or so after he last played for the Halos that he has not lost a step. His game is pretty much tied to his speed and I remember when he was here last time the off field talk was about having Bourjos and Trout have a foot race. Most of the folks were taking Bourjos in that show down -- and we all know how fast Trout is and was then.  I just like a player with Peter Bourjos defensive and base running speed (and positive attitude) on our team. I always rooted for him when he was bouncing around with other teams. I thought after last year (where was he ? a very part time OF'er in Philadelphia?) his career was about over.  I hope he is able to produce and contribute to the Halos all season.

As for the pitchers -- Bedrosian -- has he suddenly gotten better than what we've seen from him last year and over the years?  If he makes the roster, I could see him being DFA'd by May if he's not making quality appearances.,

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2 hours ago, Dochalo said:

I've been saying from early on that they're gonna give La Stella plenty of chances this year.  

How do you define "plenty of chances?"  Do you see him getting the starting job in the infield?  Is he the starter and Fletcher the backup?  I see La Stella as a spot starter against a tough righty, a pinch hitter/runner, or defensive replacement.  Nothing more than that.  Is that "plenty of chances?"

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4 minutes ago, stormngt said:

Whatever happen to the other outfielder that was competing for the 4th spot against Bourjous?  I think his last name was Davis.  Was he demoted to AAA or was he released?

It was Hermosillo. He never played because he was hurt all spring. Parker looked good for a while but he can’t play CF so he was a long shot. 

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7 hours ago, Fregosi said:

How do you define "plenty of chances?"  Do you see him getting the starting job in the infield?  Is he the starter and Fletcher the backup?  I see La Stella as a spot starter against a tough righty, a pinch hitter/runner, or defensive replacement.  Nothing more than that.  Is that "plenty of chances?"

I think La Stella and Fletcher will play about the same amount of time, right now. 

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1 hour ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

It was Hermosillo. He never played because he was hurt all spring. Parker looked good for a while but he can’t play CF so he was a long shot. 

It was Parker.  I knew about Hermosillo.   What happened to parker? AAA or DFA?

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34 minutes ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

Ideally, he’s not. But i don’t think the Angels see David Fletcher as a 700 plate appearance kind of guy. 

Yeah you are right.  I don't see the Angels looking at fletcher for 700 PA's.  Considering Trout, Upton, and Simmons barely averaged a little over 600 apiece last year.

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11 minutes ago, Fregosi said:

Yeah you are right.  I don't see the Angels looking at fletcher for 700 PA's.  Considering Trout, Upton, and Simmons barely averaged a little over 600 apiece last year.

The point is they apparently don’t see Fletcher as an everyday player. 

Edited by Jeff Fletcher
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15 hours ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

What you should have taken from this is that it’s not certain Fletcher will be the 2B and La Stella will be on the bench. 

I could see them splitting time, also with one playing some 3B early and even with Fletcher playing some LF when Upton needs a day off. 

Makes sense. I would think that 2B/3B will be in flux for much/most of the year, until there's a clearer picture on Rengifo, Jones, and Ward.

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8 hours ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

The point is they apparently don’t see Fletcher as an everyday player. 

What gives you that idea other than Fletch bouncing around in ST? Id be surprised if he didn’t start 5 outta every 6 games given his performance last year. His defense is head and shoulders above Cozart and La Stella at both second and third. 

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38 minutes ago, HaloWay94 said:

What gives you that idea other than Fletch bouncing around in ST? Id be surprised if he didn’t start 5 outta every 6 games given his performance last year. His defense is head and shoulders above Cozart and La Stella at both second and third. 

Fletcher doesn't have the track record. His bat doesn't really play without trusting in his elite (small sample size) defensive metrics, and I would go as far as saying it's a stretch to think Fletchers defense is a step ahead of Cozarts.

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17 minutes ago, AngelsLakersFan said:

Fletcher doesn't have the track record. His bat doesn't really play without trusting in his elite (small sample size) defensive metrics, and I would go as far as saying it's a stretch to think Fletchers defense is a step ahead of Cozarts.

I mean Cozart used to be a gold Glover but his defense at 3rd has been mediocre. Fletch played really well taking over third last year. Bat wise fletcher brings zero pop, but hitting .275 in your first 300 PAs with 18 doubles is not too shabby. I think he can play as a great 9 or lead off guy depending on Kole. Better .300 and 5 homers than .220 and 12 homers and that seems to be the options. But you’re right it’s small sample size too. A lot of unknowns 

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