Vlad has star power

The first round of American League All-Star balloting was released and Vladimir Guerrero leads all outfielders with 578,430 votes, nearly 130,000 more than the Red Sox’s Manny Ramirez. No other Angels player is in the top five of any other position.
Based on their present pace, at least three Angels pitchers John Lackey, Kelvim Escobar and Francisco Rodriguez have a chance to be named to the squad after the voting is complete.
The All-Star Game is July 10 at San Francisco’s AT&T Park.

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Moseley in waiting game

Dustin Moseley could be asked to start over the weekend, he could be asked to stay in his current role of late-inning relief help, or he could wind up as guy without a role. Such is life for a young pitcher that can do it all. Sometimes you get shuffled right out of a spot.

With Bartolo Colon stepping aside for his next start on Saturday, Moseley is a candidate to replace him. Those odds are long though because Moseley has proven to be a valuabe piece of the bullpen just in front of setup man Scot Shields and closer Francisco Rodriguez. But Justin Speier is a week or so away from returning from an intestinal virus and is expected to resume his seventh-inning role soon after. So what happens to Moseley then?

“We’ll maybe try to get Justin some innings to get his feet back on the ground (when he returns),” manager Mike Scioscia said. “Once Justin’s full boar and pitching at the back end of games, Dustin’s shown he can add depth to that role. It doesn’t mean he will totally be knocked out of it but it’ll give you another arm that is effective in that role and makes that pyramid wider, which makes it better leading up to Frankie.”

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Bloodied Napoli gets Stanley Cup fever

Mike Napoli looked more like a goaltender than a catcher before Sunday’s game as an incident in the batting cage left him with a bandage over the bridge of his nose. Napoli and Reggie Willits were in the batting cage Sunday morning when Willits pretended to flip his bat in Napoli’s direction. He lost grip of the bat and the hollowed out end caught Naopli flush on the bridge of his nose, opening a deep cut. Everybody was laughing about the incident later, but Willits admitted that at the time he was scared because he thought he had injured Napoli seriously. Napoli still played, as expected.

Napoli called his new look a tribute to the upcoming Stanley Cup finals between the Ducks and the Ottawa Senators. He pointed to the bandage, his scruffy facial hair and the fact that he wears a mask to his day job as proof that he is getting excited for hockey’s championship series. If only a black eye developed and a tooth fell out, then he would really have something. But there’s no reason to stereotype.

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Willits earning a nickname

Teammates Robb Quinlan and Mike Napoli were on Reggie Willits before Wednesday’s game, telling the rookie to switch his number to match his new nickname that has started to catch on. Those players, anyway, were referring to Willits as “32,” a reference to his knack at the plate of consistently taking counts full to 3-2. Erick Aybar currently owns the number so it would take some compensation to convince Aybar to make the change.

Willits said it isn’t likely to happen. Willits currently wears No. 77 as a tribute to his favorite player while growing up. Willits admired then Cleveland Indians outfielder Kenny Lofton, who still wears No. 7 with the Texas Rangers. The reason Willits has two 7s is because when he came up last year most of the numbers with 7 in them were taken. Mickey Hatcher has No. 7, Darin Erstad had No. 17, Vladimir Guerrero wears No. 27, Greg Jones was No. 37, Howie Kendrick has No. 47 and Francisco Rodriguez has No. 57. Willits was left with Nos. 67 and 77 so he went with the double 7s.

Napoli suggested Willits would be able to buy No. 7 off of Hatcher, but Willits didn’t seem comfortable going that route. Perhaps he will make on offer once he has more time in the big leageus.

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