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OC Register: Angels closer Hansel Robles more comfortable in reunion with Mickey Callaway


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TEMPE, Ariz. — The Hansel Robles that Mickey Callaway has seen with the Angels is a different pitcher than the one he saw as manager of the New York Mets.

And Callaway, now the Angels’ pitching coach, is not about to mess with him.

“We want him to do what he did last year,” Callaway said. “If we can improve on that, we will, but we want him to be comfortable and pitch like he needs to.”

Robles enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2019, posting a 2.48 ERA and recording 23 saves. It was a dramatic turnaround from his 4.07 ERA over parts of four seasons with the Mets, including a 5.03 mark when he was designated for assignment in 2018.

As Robles explained last year, the Angels allowed him to be himself. He also said they pushed him to throw his changeup more.

Although Callaway was the one who oversaw what Robles felt was a bad situation in New York in 2018, so far there are no indications from either that that will carry over to the Angels.

Robles said, through an interpreter, he has no issues with Callaway.

“Callaway has a lot of experience,” Robles said. “If he sees something that isn’t right, he’ll let me know and keep everything to form.”

Robles also intends to be the same outsized personality he has been since joining the Angels, after feeling restricted in New York. He smiled broadly when saying how he hopes to once again enter games to the white horse video that debuted last year.

“I don’t think he was comfortable in his own skin in New York, for whatever reason,” Callaway said. “But he is comfortable now. You see the smile on his face. You see it in his delivery. The confidence is there. You have to be allowed to be yourself, first and foremost. And then you have to throw the pitches that are going to make you the best. It sounds like he did a great job with that last year here.”

As Robles prepares to enter the season as the Angels closer, he said he didn’t change anything about his offseason routine.

“I have all the confidence in the world,” Robles said. “Confidence in God and confidence that I’ll be able to maintain health throughout the whole season.”

STILL WAITING

Griffin Canning, who has been sidelined with an elbow issue, is scheduled to get a second opinion Thursday, so the Angels will not reveal their course of action until Friday, at the earliest.

An MRI of Canning’s elbow showed “chronic changes,” which amounts to normal wear, of Canning’s ulnar collateral ligament. The Angels are unsure if the ligament or the joint is the source of Canning’s discomfort.

While there is no certainty on whether he’ll need surgery and how much time he may miss, Canning is expected to start the season on the injured list because of the time he’s missed already.

ALSO

Felix Peña, who is rehabbing from knee surgery, is now likely to start the season on the injured list, Maddon said. Peña has been recovering well and is fully participating in workouts, but he may be too far behind to be ready by Opening Day. Maddon said if Peña does start the season on the injured list that he should be ready quickly. …

Ty Buttrey threw a bullpen session Wednesday. Buttrey was out earlier in camp with an intercostal muscle strain, but he is expected to be ready by Opening Day. …

Tommy La Stella was scratched from Wednesday’s lineup because of back stiffness. He is day to day. …

Michael Hermosillo has been sidelined because of pain in his right hip. He is also day to day.

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