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Aching Ace: John Lackey Unlikely to Start Season Opener

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Angels ace John Lackey, who led the American League with 3.01 ERA in 2007, is unlikely to slot with starting the Angels' season opener on March 31 in Minnesota, according to the L.A. Times. Lackey is taking a sore elbow slowly and will not make his Cactus League debut until this weekend.

Whether or not Lackey, 29, slots to pitch the Angels' home opener on April 4 - the 5th game of the season - has yet to be determined. With intense competition for bench spots, it seems inconceivable that the Angels will carry 7 pitchers in their bullpen to share the load early in the season, but look for a quick Salt Lake shuffle to occur during the season's first homestand.