Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Escobar Debuts and Vlad Goes Yard

Two firsts for 2005, Kelvim Escobar made his delayed spring training debut in Tucson with two innings of work against the White Sox and Vladimir Guerrero found his homerun stroke with his first blast of the spring. The LA Times reports that Escobar had been sidelined with shoulder tightness since early in camp and then had "severe flu like symptoms" on Monday night. But the right-hander made his scheduled start on Tuesday and gave up three runs on four hits in the first inning before settling into a one-hit, no runs second. Manager Mike Scioscia pulled Escobar after the second inning and said "His velocity was good, and I like the way the ball was coming out of his hand". Scioscia then added "The way he felt was encouraging."

I love those types of managerial quotes that say nothing. Yes, the ball was coming out of his hand wasn't it? Hurray! I would read into that comment that Scioscia was happy Escobar's arm did not fall off and his #2 pitcher did not yuke all over the mound. Other than that it is too early to get excited one way or the other.

Injuries

Matt Hensley, who the Times reports was the front-runner to win the sixth and final bullpen spot will be out at least a month because of shoulder discomfort and a strained left rib cage. The Times also says the right-handed reliever is considering surgery that could put him out for the year.

Darin Erstad missed his fifth consecutive game because of bronchitis. One reason the Angels are not hurrying him back is that Casey Kotchman remains mui caliente with three more hits Tuesday lifting his spring average to .394.

Garrett Anderson
is suffering from tendinitis in his knee that will keep him out of the next few games.

Scot Shields will also be out for a few days with shin splints.

Dustin Moseley, who the Times suggests would be the most likely "fill-in candidate should the Angels suffer an injury in their rotation" left Tuesday's game with a strained right forearm.

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