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OC Register: Alex Cobb pitches effectively, with improved velocity, in Angels’ win


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THE GAME: Alex Cobb and Patrick Sandoval were both sharp in the Angels’ 4-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians in a 7-1/2 inning Cactus League game on Wednesday at Goodyear (Ariz.) Ballpark.

PITCHING REPORT: Right-hander Cobb gave up one run in three-plus innings. Cobb retired the first six hitters before giving up a run in the third. He started the fourth, gave up a leadoff hit, and was pulled. Cobb struck out four and walked one, and his fastball hit 94 mph regularly. His average fastball last year was 92.5 mph. “The fastball life does feel great right now and I think it’s going to make all the off-speed pitches play a lot better, which is a recipe for success,” Cobb said. … Left-hander Patrick Sandoval followed Cobb to the mound and gave up a leadoff single to put runners at the corners with no outs. He escaped the inning with no runs scoring. Sandoval did not allow a run in three innings, with four strikeouts. “I really like the way he pitched today,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “He utilized his stuff in the right moments. As he goes forward as he understands how to do that, he’s going to be very successful.” Sandoval has not allowed a run in six innings, with nine strikeouts and five walks. … Right-hander Felix Peña gave up a solo homer in his inning.

HITTING REPORT: Franklin Barreto reached on a bunt single. He bunted the ball only about 10 feet in front of the plate, but still beat the throw to first. He also walked. … Luis Rengifo lined a single into center field, walked and stole a base. Rengifo and Barreto are the top two candidates to win the backup middle infield job. Rengifo is 4 for 10 with four walks and Barreto is 5 for 11 with one walk this spring. … Catcher Max Stassi drilled a double off the right-field fence. … Jared Walsh hit a sacrifice fly to deep left center and had an infield single with a line drive off pitcher Cal Quantrill. … Jon Jay hit a home run, his first of the spring. Jay is 2 for 13. Jay and Juan Lagares are the top contenders for the fourth outfield spot. Lagares, who had a single, is 7 for 13.

DEFENSE REPORT: Second baseman Barreto ranged far to his left make a tough pickup and get the out. … Catcher Kurt Suzuki threw out a runner trying to take second on a pitch that bounced and deflected off of him. … Rengifo had an uneventful day in left field. The Angels are experimenting with the infielder playing the outfield.

UP NEXT: Angels vs. San Francisco Giants, Thursday, noon PT, Goodyear Ballpark, Fox Sports West, 830 AM

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1 hour ago, AngelsWin.com said:

Franklin Barreto reached on a bunt single. He bunted the ball only about 10 feet in front of the plate, but still beat the throw to first. He also walked. … Luis Rengifo lined a single into center field, walked and stole a base. Rengifo and Barreto are the top two candidates to win the backup middle infield job. Rengifo is 4 for 10 with four walks and Barreto is 5 for 11 with one walk this spring. …

Jon Jay hit a home run, his first of the spring. Jay is 2 for 13. Jay and Juan Lagares are the top contenders for the fourth outfield spot. Lagares, who had a single, is 7 for 13.

I'd imagine that Barreto has the edge over Rengifo since Barreto is out of options.

I hope that Lagares beats out Jay, as he's a massive upgrade defensively. I'm still a little concerned that Maddon opts for Jay over Lagares because of his familiarity with Jay.

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That was a really fun game to watch. For the first time in a long time it felt like old school 'Angels baseball' - good base-running with guys in motion and stolen base attempts, scoring runs on outs, tight defence, hitting to all fields. The pitching was pretty good too (how much are we paying Cobb again?). Loved it. Hopefully a sign of things to come and a fun season ahead.  

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