J.P. Hoornstra takes a look at the five storylines to watch as Angels begin spring training:
1. THE RACE TO REPLACE KENDRICK
Grant Green, Josh Rutledge, Johnny Giavotella and Taylor Featherston are all vying to become Erick Aybar’s double-play partner. Green’s ceiling is the highest of the four, but he’s been inconsistent since becoming an Angel midway through the 2013 season. Rutledge, acquired in a trade with the Rockies, has spent more time at shortstop and struggled to hit away from Coors Field in his career. Giavotella is a light hitter with four years of major-league experience with the Royals. Featherston, a Rule 5 pick, is a longshot.
2. GARRETT RICHARDS’ KNEE
Richards was in the running for a Cy Young Award when he suffered a devastating knee injury last August. As of today, his throwing program isn’t so far behind that he can’t make his first start of the season in turn. At 26, Richards is just entering his prime and has a real chance to be the staff ace — knee willing.