Angels Notes: Andrew Heaney feeling good about progress, but time running short

first_imgANAHEIM — Andrew Heaney played catch again on Thursday, as he tries to work back from a shoulder impingement to return to the Angels’ rotation.“I’m feeling better,” Heaney said. “More and more (optimistic) the more I throw.”Heaney said it’s a “day to day” question about him throwing off a mound, which he’ll have to do before he can pitch in a game. This late in the season, and having missed less than three weeks so far, Heaney would not need to pitch anywhere else to prepare for returning to the majors, Scioscia said.In the meantime, Bud Norris will get the ball first in the Angels’ bullpen game on Saturday in Houston, just as he did on Friday night. ALSOYunel Escobar (strained oblique) will head to Arizona to see some live pitching in instructional league in the next few days, Scioscia said. “We’ll see where he is early next week,” he said. …The four runs Parker Bridwell allowed snapped the Angels’ 10-game streak of their starters allowing two earned runs or fewer, equaling the franchise’s longest such streak since an 11-game streak in 1970. …The Angels had not been swept at home all season before this series against the Indians. …By losing all six games to the Indians, the Angels were swept in a season series of at least six games for the first time since they went 0-6 vs. the Baltimore Orioles in 2010. Norris retired all six batters in the first two innings, then came out after giving up a single to lead off the third.“We’re going to use a lot of guys that day,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “Bud did a good job getting six outs and into the third inning. We’ll go out with him and see how it goes.”SAFETY FIRSTThe frightening incident at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, when a young girl was hit by a foul ball and hurt seriously enough to be taken to a hospital, renewed discussion about whether clubs should have more netting protecting fans.“It’s definitely something that needs to be looked into,” Scioscia said. ”Baseballs travel a lot faster than people realize wen you are watching on TV. They’re projectiles and even fans who are paying attention get surprised by the velocity of the balls and bats that break or you lose your handle.”The Angels increased the size of the netting behind the plate prior to the 2016 season, but it still does not protect fans sitting behind the dugouts.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Angels’ Luis Valbuena looks for good start after strong finish in 2017

first_imgOne of the reasons the Angels believe Valbuena can do better is that his batting average on balls in play for the season was .210, well below his career average of .268 leading up to the season. That would suggest an element of bad luck.Valbuena also suggested that the six weeks he was out with a strained hamstring affected him for the first month or two when he came back.“It’s a long time not to see pitching,” he said.Getting a healthy Valbuena, with his timing, will be important for the Angels because he projects to be their first baseman in the 50 or 60 games in which Albert Pujols is the designated hitter. With a three-man bench that no longer includes right-handed hitting C.J. Cron, who was traded, the Angels also may look to Valbuena to start against lefties more often than he did last year.“I am ready for everything,” Valbuena said. “Wherever he wants me to play. Wherever he wants me in the lineup, I’m ready.” PreviousThe Angels’ Luis Valbuena hits during the Angels’ spring training workout at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Infielder Luis Valbuena waits to hit during the Angels’ spring training workout at the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex in Tempe on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Infielder Luis Valbuena throws during the Angels’ spring training workout at the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex in Tempe on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsInfielder Luis Valbuena waits to hit during the Angels’ spring training workout at the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex in Tempe on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Infielder Luis Valbuena fields a grounder during the Angels’ spring training workout at the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex in Tempe on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Luis Valbuena hits during the Angels’ spring training workout at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Luis Valbuena hits during the Angels’ spring training workout at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Luis Valbuena hits during the Angels’ spring training workout at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Infielder Luis Valbuena waits to hit during the Angels’ spring training workout at the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex in Tempe on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)NextShow Caption1 of 7Infielder Luis Valbuena waits to hit during the Angels’ spring training workout at the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex in Tempe on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)ExpandMESA, Ariz. — The Angels are hoping to get a full year of the Luis Valbuena they saw in the second half last year.“You saw the ability to drive the ball,” Manager Mike Scioscia said Friday. “You saw his on-base splits, as far as being able to get on base when he doesn’t expand the zone. He swung the bat well in the second half for us. That’s what we need.”Valbuena finished the season with a .199 average. The story beyond that, however, was the way he performed after the All-Star break.In the second half, Valbuena hit .213 with a .320 on-base percentage and a .546 slugging percentage, for an .866 OPS that was more than respectable. He hit 16 homers in his final 61 games. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Also— The Milwaukee Brewers were eager to be the first team to get a look at Shohei Ohtani. On Friday, the day before Ohtani’s spring debut against the Brewers, manager Craig Counsell told reporters: “We’re going into a fun atmosphere. I think the players will tell you the same thing. Any time we can go into a fun atmosphere, we’re excited for it.” …— The Angels “were an option” Major League Baseball considered for the season-opening series in Japan in 2019, according to Tim Mead, the team’s vice president in charge of communications. Mead said the decision to instead have the Oakland A’s play the Seattle Mariners occurred at the MLB level, without the Angels pulling out of the game. The A’s-Mariners series was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. …— Outfielder Jabari Blash, who was acquired by the Angels on Wednesday after the New York Yankees designated him for assignment, worked out with the team Friday. Blash said he was happy to be with the Angels, but he also enjoyed a couple days around Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge with the Yankees. “It might be a circus because everyone is huge and they have some phenomenal athletes there,” he said. “It was great to be a part of New York for that brief time. For me, that page is over now. It’s great to be here.” …— Hisanori Takahashi, who pitched for the Angels in 2011, was in camp Friday morning as a member of the media. He is now working for NHK, a TV network in Japan. …— Former Angels lefty Jim Abbott has also been in camp as a guest instructor this week.last_img read more