In what amounted to a spring training bloodbath, the Angels cut nine players from their major-league camp roster Sunday.
Howie Kendrick fell a triple short of the cycle Thursday, which would be less impressive if:
Kershaw said after the game that his location was erratic. That was never more true than when Kendrick was in the batter’s box against the two-time National League ERA champ. His fifth-inning home run against Lilly was his first of the spring and it was a bomb, landing on the top of a grassy knoll just left of center field in a deep ballpark — Camelback Ranch is 420 feet to straightaway center and Kendrick’s ball definitely traveled farther.
That was the only Angel home run of the game. Kendrick had three of the 12 hits, and nine other players had one each. Here are a few more notes:
By Greg Beacham, Associated Press
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Although Pablo Sandoval had pretty much run out of steam by the time he got to third, Kung Fu Panda kept on chugging.
The San Francisco Giants’ hefty slugger scored the go-ahead run and maybe burned off a few ounces of flab along the way, getting the defending champions’ spring off to a rollicking start.
Ryan Vogelsong pitched two scoreless innings, Sandoval lumbered home on Jackson Williams‘ double, and the Giants opened Cactus League play with a 4-1 victory over a Los Angeles Angels split squad Saturday.
The last time Sandoval was in a major league game, he wrapped up the World Series MVP award in San Francisco’s sweep of Detroit last October. Although he played in Venezuela’s professional league this winter and will play in the World Baseball Classic soon, he acknowledges he’s a few weeks and several pounds away from recapturing his postseason form.
“It looked like home plate was running away from me,” Sandoval said.
Today the manager revealed his starters for Saturday’s split-squad games. Jerome Williams will start at Tempe Diablo Stadium against the Chicago Cubs, while Brad Mills will start against the San Francisco Giants in Scottsdale.
Barry Enright (Sunday vs. Oakland), Garrett Richards (Monday at Seattle in Peoria), A.J. Schugel (Tuesday vs. Arizona in Tempe) and Nick Maronde (vs. San Francisco in Tempe) will start the following games.
Some links to get you through the weekend:
Mike Scioscia didn’t single out those starters by name, but the Angels’ manager did rule out his projected five starters from pitching in games for at least another week. The Angels open Cactus League play with split-squad games Saturday against the Cubs and Giants.
“The guys that we’re looking at, especially Weave [Jered Weaver], he doesn’t need to get started until somewhere around the first” of March, Scioscia said. “It would just be too long for him. He wouldn’t need it.”
The Angels’ five-man rotation is all but set. Two familiar faces, Garrett Richards and Jerome Williams (whom I included with the relievers), are vying for “sixth starter” status. Of course, just because a rotation is set doesn’t mean it’s good, and many see this group as the Angels’ Achilles heel beyond ace Jered Weaver.
The other four starters — Tommy Hanson, Joe Blanton, Jason Vargas and C.J. Wilson – were flat-out bad for stretches last season. Will Wilson snap back to his old self following elbow surgery? Can Hansen, Blanton and Vargas benefit from a change of scenery and a star-studded defense?
Those are the biggest questions facing the rotation, and maybe the team, going into camp. Unless there’s an injury, don’t expect the Angels’ five-man rotation to change in spring training.
(Non-roster invitees listed in parentheses)