Angels Opening Day tidbits to ponder

With the Angels set to open the season Monday at Minnesota, here are a few things to consider, with all facts compliments of the team’s PR departmant.

ABOUT OPENING DAY: Angels open their 48th campaign vs. the Minnesota Twins at the Metrodome…It will mark just the fifth time in the last 17 seasons opening on the road for the Halos…Angels have won last four Opening Day games…Club last played Twins on Opening Day in 1994 (8-2 win at Metrodome) and square off against Minnesota to open season for third time overall (’85 &’94)…Angels are 25-22, 15-14 at home and 10-8 on road all-time on Opening Day.

MARCH SADNESS: Tonight the Angels play their third ever regular season game in March…Angels opened the season on March 30, 2003 at Texas (3-6 loss) and March 31, 2002 vs. Cleveland (0-6 loss). VS. TWINS: Halos have a four-game win streak vs. Twins…Angels have won last five season series vs. Twins…Angels claimed 2007 season series 6-3, winning five of six games at home and one of three on the road…Angels swept Twins in last meeting, Aug. 10-12, 2007 at Angel Stadium…Angels’ 328 total victories vs. Minnesota are most for Angels against any opponent.

TOUGH SLEDDING: Angels play 18 of first 30 games against Cleveland, Oakland, Seattle, Boston and Detroit, all contending teams in 2007.

DID YOU KNOW? Angels have won 157 consecutive games when leading after eight innings, the longest current streak in Majors (last time Angels lost when leading after eight innings was April 19, 2006 at Twins).

GEHRIG & GUERRERO: Vlad Guerrero has batted at least .300 with 25 home runs in each of the last 10 seasons…Only player with more consecutive seasons with those numbers in Lou Gehrig who did it in 11 straight campaigns from 1927-37.

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Angels set 25-man roster

As expected, the Angels put John Lackey, Kelvim Escobar, Scot Shields and Chris Bootcheck on the 15-day disabled list. They also set the Opening Day roster after making a number of moves.

Nine players were reassigned to minor-league camp: RHP Nick Adenhart, RHP Alex Serrano, INF Hainley Statia, OF Terry Evans, INF Brandon Wood, C Ryan Budde, C Bobby Wilson, INF Kendry Morales, OF Dee Brown

Following is a look at the Angels 2008 Opening Day Roster:

Pitchers: Jason Bulger, Jon Garland Dustin Moseley, Darren O’Day, Darren Oliver, Francisco Rodriguez, Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders, Justin Speier, Rich Thompson, Jered Weaver.

Catchers: Mike Napoli, Jeff Mathis

Infielders: Erick Aybar, hone Figgins, Maicer Izturis, Howie Kendrick, Casey Kotchman, Robb Quinlan

Outfielders: Garret Anderson, Torii Hunter, Vladimir Guerrero, Gary Matthews Jr., Juan Rivera, Reggie Willits.

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Angels' Haynes claimed by D-Rays

The Angels tried to slip speedy outfielder Nathan Haynes through waivers in order to send him to Triple-A Salt Lake, but former Angels bench coach Joe Maddon was there waiting. Maddon, now the manager at Tampa Bay, will have Haynes in the fold now after the Devil Rays claimed him.

In 40 games with the Angels last season, Haynes batted .267 with 10 runs scored. He was on the roster for much of last season partially because if the Angels tried to send him back down he would have had to clear waivers.

Haynes’ biggest contribution last season might have come through his close friendship with Chone Figgins. After coming off the disabled list last year, Figgins started slow but started to get hot at the plate once Haynes was recalled to the team.

The Angels 40-man roster is now at 38. One player expected to be added to that 40-man roster is reliever Darren O’Day.

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Preston Gomez improving

Preston Gomez, who has spent a lifetime in baseball as a player coach and front-ofice executive, has shown improvment after being involved in what was being called a freak accident Wednesday. Gomez, 86, who is a special assistant in the Angels front office, was driving home from spring training early Wednesday morning when he stopped for gas in Blythe. At the gas station he ended up walking into the path of a pickup truck that was pulling in to refuel. Gomez suffered a fractured skull and was airlifted to a Palm Springs hospital.

He was initially considered to be in very serious condition, but Thursday he opened his eyes and recognized family members. No surgery was necessary, although he did recieve two units of blood Thursday.

“There is a tremendous amount of optimism,” Angels spokesman Tim Mead said.

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