“I think that’s what our template is and hopefully we’ll get a little chemistry in the last week” of spring training, Scioscia said.
It seemed that manager Mike Scioscia was adding another boo-boo to the Angels’ list of injury concerns Tuesday when he revealed that slugger Albert Pujols was dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
In fact, Pujols has been dealing with the condition on and off for seven years.
“It comes and goes, feels good, then comes and goes,” he said.
According to the Mayo Clinic website, plantar fasciitis involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain.
Pujols pledged to be smart about the condition and is trying orthotics this year for the first time, even though he’s been resistant in the past. Orthotics are custom-fitted arch support pieces that distribute pressure evenly around the foot.
“I think the whole reason it flared up this spring is because of my knee,” said Pujols, who underwent knee surgery last October.
Pujols will be the Angels’ designated hitter today against the Cleveland Indians after playing first base for the first time Tuesday against the Milwaukee Brewers.
“Right now I’m just focused on keeping my knee strong,” he said.
For Chris Snyder, hanging on to a career in baseball means driving 100 miles per hour up Interstate 95 from the Washington Nationals’ spring training complex in Viera, Florida to Orlando International Airport, telling your wife and three kids to meet you back in Phoenix tomorrow, cramming to learn a new pitching staff in two weeks, and remembering to breathe in between.
The crazy thing is, Snyder knew it might happen.
“My family had just gotten down (to Florida) three, four days ago,” he said. “I told my wife, ‘don’t unpack too much because we might be going somewhere else, either down the road in Florida or in Phoenix.’ So we got word that the Nationals, the two guys they had — (Kurt) Suzuki and (Wilson) Ramos — they’re both good and they were going with them. They left it up to us to pursue other opportunities out here.”
Albert Pujols wasn’t tested much in his first spring training game at first base Tuesday. He caught four throws from infielders on groundouts. He shuffled his feet. He got into a deep crouch before every pitch. He looked like himself.
It wasn’t much, but it was enough for Pujols to declare himself ready to play first base on Opening Day, April 1 in Cincinnati.
“I feel ready to go if Opening Day was tomorrow,” he said.
Sisk was acquired from the Kansas City Royals for right-hander Ervin Santana in October. He made two Cactus League appearances, allowing one hit and one run in two innings, before being reassigned to minor league camp March 11.
The recovery period is typically no shorter than 12 months.
According to multiple reports, the Angels are seeking help for their backup catcher position. Hank Conger is the front-runner in camp, hitting .417 in Cactus League play, but his erratic throws to second base have given the team pause.
While Conger has pledged to straighten out the issue in time for Opening Day, it makes sense if the Angels are in the market for a better defensive alternative to starter Chris Iannetta.
Brasier was 0-1 with a 9.95 ERA in six spring games. The right-hander allowed 11 hits and seven runs, all earned, in six and one-third innings. He walked none and struck out five. Brasier spent all of last season at Salt Lake.
Enright had appeared in just two spring games, starting one. In two and two-thirds innings, he allowed eight hits, four runs (all earned), walked one and struck out one. The right-hander pitched all but three of his 32 games last season at the Triple-A level.
Kohn, 26, was under a bit of a microscope having missed all of 2012 to Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. His Cactus League was going fairly well until he allowed four runs (three earned) in the Angels’ 17-11 loss to Kansas City on Sunday.
You’d never guess it, but pitcher Mitch Stetter was among the first players to report to spring training with the Angels.
It wasn’t hard. Stetter lives about 10 minutes north of Tempe. He dropped by early in February, threw about 10 bullpen sessions and hurt his lower back in the 11th. After an initial diagnosis of a stress fracture in his vertebrae, Stetter had a CT scan that revealed a bulging disk.
He’s yet to appear in a spring training game while adhering to a prescription of rest and anti-inflammatory medications. But after throwing a bullpen today, “most likely I’ll take two days off then pitch Sunday,” Stetter said.
Bill Hall was in street clothes a little after 9:30 a.m. today, while the rest of his Angels teammates were getting ready for pregame drills.
Hall was off to get an MRI on his left calf, which tightened up on him during infield drills on Wednesday. Hall believes he may have been overcompensating for a previous injury to his right quadriceps when he hurt his calf. Angels manager Mike Scioscia noted that Hall injured his left calf last year.
“It’s real frustrating,” Hall said. “I was playing well. I did a lot of work this off-season to try and prevent things like that.”
Both Hall and Scioscia said it’s too early to project an exact timetable for Hall, but the MRI will go a long way toward determining when he can return. Regardless, he’s running out of time. The annual preseason Angels-Dodgers “Freeway Series” begins two weeks from today.