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Matsui Plays the Field, Angels Beat Dodgers: Halolinks


Angels 4, Dodgers 2 -
"You just have to get that feel back and get back to good form over time," he said. "I just have to make sure I stay loose." Angels manager Mike Scioscia sold Matsui on coming to Anaheim by promising some games in the outfield. "Hideki is moving well," Scioscia said. "He's a very experienced player. I don't think there's much we need to see on how he can catch a fly ball. We'll evaluate him tomorrow and see how his knees feel. We want to pace him into this."

I wonder if this bit about promising Matsui playing time is true, and if so, how many games did Scioscia promise him? Matsui hasn't played in the outfield since the 2008 season (about 645 days). During that season, Matsui's UZR was -7.6 in left field. He's posted UZR of -17.7, -24.8, -1.6 during his time in left, and this was prior to having surgically repaired knees. Obviously, Matsui isn't going to see a whole lot of time on the field, but it is interesting that one of the selling points for the Angels to sign him was their promise to not relegate him to full-time DH.

Angels' Mathis homers, drives in three -
Torii Hunter doubled off the glove of Jason Repko and was singled home by Hideki Matsui in the first inning. Brandon Wood hit a ground-rule double and Jeff Mathis homered in the second inning. Mike Napoli doubled in the sixth and scored on Mathis' sacrifice fly.

At first I was excited thinking that Mathis is having a good spring following up his impressive 2009 post season, hopefully something to carry over into the 2010 regular season. But then I checked his spring stats, and with the home run yesterday, he's now hitting above .200 for the first time in over 2 weeks.

And then there were 37 - ESPN Los Angeles
The Angels reassigned reliever Rafael Rodriguez to minor league camp Sunday, meaning they're carrying just 12 extra players. They'll probably trim a few more youngsters before heading back to Southern California for a few exhibition games leading to the April 5 opener.

Saunders feels positive about start -
Former Angel Garret Anderson smacked an RBI double off the wall in center field. A relay from Torii Hunter to Howard Kendrick to Mike Napoli cut down Ramirez at the plate. "The pitch to Garret was a middle fastball," Saunders said, grinning. "I gave him a cookie. He gave me a little smile at second base."

Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: God, that sucker teed off on that like he knew I was gonna throw a fastball!

Torii's Storiis: Getting the feel back right on time
I've been running first to third, no problem. You learn yourself in the spring, what you can do. Veterans like Hideki Matsui, Bobby Abreu, myself, we know how to bring our bodies along. In my 18 years in the game, this is the slowest it's gone for me this spring, coming back from the surgery. Being a competitor, I want to be out there. But I'm playing a games, taking one off. Pretty soon, with the season coming, I'll be playing four, five games in a row. It's different when you're a guy trying to make an impression, trying to make the ballclub. Then results count.

Within this post, Hunter writes briefly about Mike Ryan who's having a hot spring in the Angels camp. " Mike can play the infield or the outfield. He's familiar with all those positions. He can flat-out hit." Ryan will turn 33 during the season, which means he's far from being a prospect, but can he make the team?

Blue Jays could use relievers to rebuild - FOX Sports on MSN
Baseball Prospectus says Wood "made genuine headway in taming his swing in three years of Triple A. Last year saw his lowest strikeout rate (18.7 percent) and best strikeout-to-unintentional walk ratio (2.4), and while fewer balls left the yard, his line-drive and pop-up rates moved in the right direction."

Another Brandon Wood spotting...

True Grich: Tis the season.... baseball season
Yesterday was "officially" the first day of spring. Personally, I think of the first day of spring as being the day pitchers and catchers report, but that’s just me. The way I see it; there’s only one season and that’s baseball season. The rest of the time is merely the days between the end of the baseball schedule and the beginning of a new one.

Checking in with James over at True Grich.

March 23 - BR Bullpen
2000: The St. Louis Cardinals obtain All-Star center fielder Jim Edmonds from the Anaheim Angels in exchange for pitcher Kent Bottenfield and second baseman Adam Kennedy.

1993 - Tim Crews, pitcher (b. 1961)
When I saw Crews' name on the list, and then the year 1993, I couldn't believe it's been 17 years since he and Steve Olin were killed in a boating accident during spring training. Here's a link: Cleveland Indians Tragedy in Spring Training