A few postgame notes from the Angels’ locker room that won’t appear in my game story:
If you’ve flown between John Wayne airport and Salt Lake City at any point this season, your odds of bumping into an Angels player are pretty high. The Angels have been busy burning a path from Anaheim to their Triple-A affiliate, having used 36 batters and 20 pitchers this season — both tied for second in the league.
Sunday might have been the busiest day of them all.
Kole Calhoun almost made the Angels as a fourth/fifth outfielder out of spring training. He didn’t, was sent back to Triple-A Salt Lake, and suffered a freak injury in the Bees’ first game of the season: Calhoun broke the hamate bone in his right hand swinging a bat in his fourth plate appearance of the game.
Calhoun had surgery Tuesday and is expected to miss at least a month.
On Wednesday, the Angels announced they’ve agreed to terms with veteran major league outfielder Brad Hawpe on a minor-league contract. He’ll report to extended spring training at first, but figures to absorb some of Kalhoun’s innings in Salt Lake soon.
Hawpe, 33, last appeared in the majors with the San Diego Padres in 2011. He was limited to just 62 games that year because of a strained finger and and elbow injury that ultimately required Tommy John surgery in August.
Last year Hawpe batted .260/.382/.382 for Double-A Frisco of the Texas League and played exclusively in right field after shifting in at first base with the Padres.
In his prime, Hawpe averaged 25 home runs and 93 RBIs a season from 2006-09 with the Colorado Rockies.
That means four players have a way of working their way onto the Angels’ roster, including some who will start the season in the majors. That was by design, general manager Jerry Dipoto said Tuesday.
The proposed trade that would send Vernon Wells to the New York Yankees still isn’t complete. Multiple sources have confirmed reports that Wells won’t take his physical until Tuesday, at which point the trade can become official.
We still don’t know what the Angels will receive from the Yankees in return for Wells, other than something in the neighborhood of $6-8 million per year over the next two years. That’s a nice chunk of change but it still only partially offsets the approximately $42 million left on Wells’ contract.
For the Angels, trading Wells opens a spot for Kole Calhoun or J.B. Shuck to earn the fourth outfielder job. Shuck doubled Monday to raise his Cactus League batting average to .357; Calhoun is batting .200.
More updates as we get ‘em, but there might not be any until tomorrow.
• Bill Hall played the game’s final five innings at first base. Hall has played seven different positions, including pitcher, in a pro career that began in 1998. He’s never played first base or caught. As a non-roster invitee, playing out of position is simply part of life — even for Hall. He only had two chances in the field Sunday, both routine putouts, but maintained a perfect 1.000 career fielding percentage as a first baseman.
*I have no problem with the term “sister paper,” “sister city,” “sister company,” etc., but I’d like to submit that “brother paper” works just as well.
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.
Regardless, the starting three in Anaheim are rather enviable. The glaring issues: New center fielder Peter Bourjos batted just .220 in a platoon situation last year, fourth outfielder Vernon Wells has hit .222 since coming to Anaheim, and there isn’t much depth after that. The NRIs in this group don’t pose a serious threat to make the opening-day roster, but one or more could move up with an outstanding spring. Otherwise it’s a long dropoff from the starters to the bench.
Here’s what to watch for in spring: