TEMPE, Ariz. — With five days remaining before Opening Day rosters have to be set, here’s what is pretty much selected about where the Angels stand using their bullpen and bench:
• Lefties Sean Burnett (recovery by August forearm surgery) as well as Brian Moran (left elbow irritation) are expected to start the season on the disabled list. But Dane En Rosa (right forearm strain) continues to have a chance to be ready by the Angels’ first game next Monday.
• Your Angels aren’t expected to start the time of year with an eight-man bullpen, manager Mike Scioscia claimed Monday morning. Ernesto Frieri, Joe Henderson and Kevin Jepsen have solidified spots, which leaves three or four start spots for the seven-man ‘pen.
• Two of some spots on the bench appear set. Hank Conger will be the backup catcher, though Scioscia said he’ll still get a good amount of playing time, and Bob McDonald, who must be paid $100,Thousand to be kept off the 40-man list as of Tuesday, looks like a new lock to be the utility infielder.
The other two spots remain tough to decipher.
‘There are so many combinations that we’re looking at right now,Inches Scioscia said. ‘Obviously we’re going to need a functional infielder; your second catcher will be on the table. And how those other baseball bats fall in will be something we’re going to determine this week.’
The Angels could possibly pair the right-handed bat of outfielder Collin Cowgill with the left-handed bat of infielder Ian Stewart, or perhaps the left-handed bat of outfielder J.W. Shuck with the right-handed bat of infielder Grant Green, or go with 2 backup outfielders in Cowgill and Shuck.
Left-handed-hitting outfielders Brennan Boesch (can opt out of his Minor League deal for an quick Major League opportunity by simply Sunday) and Matt Long (batting .432 in 44 Prickly pear League at-bats) also remain in camp.
But Cowgill vs. Shuck looks like the most interesting decision of all.
Both are clearly ahead in the outfield pecking order, and unlikely that the Angels carry two outfielders off their bench, considering these people practically have four into their starting lineup.
‘Cowgill has far more ability to play center industry and fill in in suitable field, but offensively they are similar,’ Scioscia said. ‘One is going to provide a right-handed bat with some protection versus lefties and one is a left-handed bat which gives you some protection versus righties and helps you get a matchup, way too.’
Five relievers remain in camp. Four are right-handed (Michael Kohn, Fernando Salas, Brandon Lyon and Cory Rasmus) then one is left-handed (Nick Maronde). The Angels could also opt to go with one of often Joe Blanton, Matt Shoemaker or Jose Alvarez, so they have at least one reliever who will pitch multiple innings.
But with the Angels off of in seven of their 1st eight Thursdays, length out of any reliever isn’t much of a top priority.
And an all-righty bullpen is still a possibility.
‘Were certainly not going to just take a lefty to adopt a lefty,’ Scioscia said. ‘We’re likely to take a lefty that is functional that helps us get a lefty out and hold a lead. If emerges, great. If it does not, we’ll see where our own bullpen is.’