Scioscia isn't banking on Richards for Opening Day

Scioscia isn't banking on Richards for Opening Day

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Garrett Richards' recovery from knee surgery continues to progress steadily, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia admitted what has become increasingly clear on Sunday morning:

Richards will not be ready by Opening Day.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kubitza preps for future starting third-base role

Angels prospect eyeing 2016 while learning on job from Freese

Kubitza preps for future starting third-base role

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Kyle Kubitza has what every prospect wants -- a clear path.

The Angels traded one of those young, high-upside starting pitching prospects they barely have because they needed someone to play third base in 2016, and the club believes Kubitza can be that player. Reminded of this, Kubitza -- 24 years old, 6-foot-3, and a Texan through and through -- smiles uncomfortably.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels looking to be equipped for 2015 season

Angels looking to be equipped for 2015 season

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Heading into Spring Training, the Angels spent $81,000 on two pieces of equipment that were designed for rehabbing athletes, but can be beneficial to everyone. One was an anti-gravity treadmill, known as an AlterG, which cost $75,000. The rest went to an Air Runner, which looks somewhat like an advanced elliptical machine.

Their purposes are basically the same -- they allow players to get their conditioning in without running with their full body weight. Angels strength and conditioning specialist T.J. Harrington believes it'll keep guys fresher throughout Spring Training.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

With wealth of power, Cron has chance to stick at DH

As Hamilton's situation remains unresolved, young first baseman hopes to make impression

With wealth of power, Cron has chance to stick at DH

TEMPE, Ariz. -- C.J. Cron made his name throughout the Angels' Minor League system by hitting the type of home runs teammates told stories about, and catching prospect Jett Bandy has two of his own.

There's the one he hit out to dead center field in the capacious ballpark that hosts the Angels' Double-A affiliate, a low line drive that shot over the 400-foot fence and landed on top of the batting cages that sit beyond it. And there's the moon shot he hit at Mavericks Stadium in Adelanto, Calif., which cleared the left-center-field fence, sailed over a hill, cleared another fence and traveled, in Bandy's estimation, well over 500 feet.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Morin fighting to earn seventh-inning role in bullpen

Right-hander hopes to improve against lefties after struggling last season

Morin fighting to earn seventh-inning role in bullpen

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Angels reliever Mike Morin entered camp with two clearly defined goals -- take over the seventh inning and improve against opposing left-handed hitters.

They pretty much go hand in hand.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Length of Hamilton's potential suspension unclear

Any suspension for outfielder would likely start at beginning of regular season

Length of Hamilton's potential suspension unclear

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Josh Hamilton's potential suspension for a drug of abuse would not hinge on his recovery from shoulder surgery. The Angels' outfielder would begin serving a suspension at the beginning of the regular season, regardless of whether he would've started the year on the disabled list, according to people familiar with the process.

That means there's a chance Hamilton's rehab could last longer than his suspension, though the Angels still have no gauge on what the suspension will be or how long his rehab could take. The team has declined comment on the matter, confirming only that Hamilton met with Major League Baseball regarding a disciplinary issue on Wednesday.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

Scioscia holds 'kindred spirit' Maddon in high esteem

Halos skipper, Cubs manager instantly clicked working together on Angels

Scioscia holds 'kindred spirit' Maddon in high esteem

MESA, Ariz. -- With the retirement of singer-songwriter Tim Flannery, the soul of the three-time World Series champion Giants as their third-base coach and so much more, there no longer can be any serious debate. Joe Maddon is "The Most Interesting Man in Baseball." The dude in the popular television commercial can't compare to the real deal.

When the Cubs' brain trust made Maddon an offer he couldn't refuse to manage their youthful team in 2015 and beyond, it was the kind of enlightened thinking he does every day of his life. Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who had Maddon as his bench coach with the 2002 World Series champions before the Rays hired him in '06 to manage their floundering outfit out of darkness, calls his buddy "a Renaissance Man," adding, "I can talk about Joe all day.

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Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sources: Hamilton experienced relapse this year

Sources: Hamilton experienced relapse this year

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Josh Hamilton's recent meeting with Major League Baseball stemmed from a relapse that occurred this year, sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to MLB.com on Friday. The Angels, who have only confirmed that Hamilton met with league officials at the Commissioner's Office in New York on Wednesday, don't expect to hear from MLB anytime soon.

There are a number of factors to consider when looking at Hamilton's situation.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pujols to opponents: Bring on the shift

No right-handed hitter in baseball was played to pull more than Angels' first baseman in 2014

Pujols to opponents: Bring on the shift

TEMPE, Ariz. -- No right-handed hitter in baseball was shifted on more times than Albert Pujols last year.

Yes, that Albert Pujols.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Green keeps working at shortstop while vying for second-base spot

Former first-round pick builds on being versatile option for Angels

Green keeps working at shortstop while vying for second-base spot

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Grant Green spent most of his offseason working on his defense at shortstop and has spent a lot of the workouts taking grounders there, which seems odd because the 27-year-old is vying for a job as the everyday second baseman.

"It was just something to keep the good footwork intact," Green said. "If I can keep the good footwork at short and third, it's going to translate very well, and I learned that from [John McDonald] last year. Johnny Mac was very big on, 'If you can play short, you can play any other position on the infield.' We all know that's the toughest one to play, and if you can keep your footwork in the right mode, it's going to translate into the other two positions."

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Halos have options to replace Hamilton's production

With left fielder's status uncertain, Joyce and Cron among Angels' in-house candidates

Halos have options to replace Hamilton's production

TEMPE, Ariz. -- There are 62 players squeezed into the Angels' clubhouse here at Tempe Diablo Stadium, the quarters cramped enough that there are a couple places where two low men on the totem pole share a locker or a chair. This is the setup even without Josh Hamilton's outsized presence taking part in these spring proceedings, and Hamilton's recovery from shoulder surgery now combines with the threat of a disciplinary suspension from Major League Baseball as reasons for the Angels not to have bothered issuing their left fielder a locker.

We really don't know how long to expect the Angels to be without Hamilton in 2015 (the latest injury-related prognosis had been early May), but his injury history had already compelled general manager Jerry Dipoto to shore up the roster depth in left and at DH this winter. And now, with Hamilton's status truly up in the air, the alternate options assembled here in Arizona and potentially available elsewhere in the annual spring swap market are worth evaluating all the more.

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wilson shares strong bond with Hamilton

Veteran pitcher wishing best for Angels teammate and his family

Wilson shares strong bond with Hamilton

TEMPE, Ariz. -- When Josh Hamilton arrived in Texas for the 2008 season, he and C.J. Wilson shared an instant bond that had little to do with baseball and everything to do with staying clean.

Wilson was never pulled into drug-and-alcohol addictions, but he always admired the way Hamilton overcame them.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Motivated Trout ready to get back to work

Outfielder enjoying spotlight, focused on continuing to improve

Motivated Trout ready to get back to work

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Every spring the expectations rise, the demands increase and the attention grows -- and yet Mike Trout stays the same.

"Mike's never changed, and that's the beauty of Mike," said Garrett Richards, Trout's best friend on the Angels. "He's never changed, he's never skipped a beat; he's been the same guy since I've known him, since Day 1. And that's rare. You'd think it would go the other way."

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hamilton meets with MLB about disciplinary issue

Hamilton meets with MLB about disciplinary issue

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Josh Hamilton met with Major League Baseball officials at the Commissioner's Office on Wednesday regarding a disciplinary issue, the Angels confirmed, but the team declined to provide specifics about the meeting, wasn't certain when it might hear from MLB and was bracing for the possibility of a suspension.

The Los Angeles Times first reported news of the meeting in New York. CBSSports.com reported that Hamilton, who was suspended from 2004-06 because of issues related to cocaine and alcohol abuse, admitted to having a drug-related relapse this offseason, which is what precipitated the meeting.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Richards: Goal is to be ready for Opening Day

Manager Scioscia addresses team for first time in advance of live batting practice

Richards: Goal is to be ready for Opening Day

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Garrett Richards knows the odds are somewhat stacked against him, and he understands that it would be practical of the Angels to place him on the disabled list at the start of the season to make sure he's 100 percent healthy.

But that isn't changing his mindset.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trout to adjust to new pace-of-play rules

Trout to adjust to new pace-of-play rules

TEMPE, Ariz. -- When Major League Baseball announced that hitters must keep one foot in the batter's box this season, Mike Trout was usually the first name that came to mind.

"It's funny," Trout said, "because when I heard that rule, everybody was like, 'That's you.' We'll see how it goes."

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels want steady approach to set bullpen pace

Relievers focused on throwing strikes, rather than high velocity

Angels want steady approach to set bullpen pace

TEMPE, Ariz. -- It took Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto a lot of years, a lot of trades and a lot of names to finally find a bullpen group he's content with, and he got there in a rather unconventional way:

Without velocity.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lindstrom looking good early in Angels camp

Right-hander aiming to win bullpen job after injury-plagued 2014 season

Lindstrom looking good early in Angels camp

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Every year there's one guy who sticks out amid the monotony; a pitcher who turns heads in the early bullpen sessions because the catcher's mitt just seems to pop a little louder when he's letting them go.

For the Angels so far, that guy is Matt Lindstrom.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Joyce may help Scioscia's lineup fall in order

Joyce may help Scioscia's lineup fall in order

TEMPE, Ariz. -- In his first year with the Angels, and his last before free agency, Matt Joyce could find himself either hitting in front of Mike Trout or behind Albert Pujols.

That's a pretty favorable dilemma.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baldoquin's camp debut stalled by visa issues

Angels eager to see talented Cuban infielder during spring workouts

Baldoquin's camp debut stalled by visa issues

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels are going to have to wait a little longer to get their first look at Cuban infielder Roberto Baldoquin.

Baldoquin isn't expected to join the rest of the position players for the first full workout on Wednesday due to visa issues that are keeping him in the Dominican Republic. The 20-year-old right-handed hitter will work out mostly in Minor League camp this spring, but he'll occasionally work with coaches on the Major League side, and he may even get in some games late in the Cactus League schedule.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Santiago enters rotation battle with something to prove

Santiago enters rotation battle with something to prove

TEMPE, Ariz. -- At least one of the Angels' rotation spots -- possibly two, if Garrett Richards starts the season on the disabled list -- is a wide-open competition in Spring Training, even though one of the candidates isn't sure why.

"I feel like I've earned a spot," Hector Santiago said. "In my eyes, I feel like it. They probably want a lot more out of me, but I feel like I did well enough in the second half."

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Richards looks 'outstanding' in bullpen session

Richards looks 'outstanding' in bullpen session

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Garrett Richards completed his third bullpen session of the spring on Monday morning, throwing 40 pitches -- four-seam fastballs and two-seam fastballs -- from the stretch at the Angels' Spring Training complex.

"Outstanding," Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher said. "He looked really good."

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Salas looks to stay grounded at Halos camp

Salas looks to stay grounded at Halos camp

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Angels reliever Fernando Salas had an under-the-radar rebirth in 2014, posting a 3.38 ERA, striking out 9.4 batters per nine innings and appearing in 57 Major League games after spending half of the previous year stuck in the Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate.

But the 29-year-old right-hander has navigated through his entire career with a dangerously high fly-ball rate, which most notably led to serving up the game-winning homer in Game 1 of the American League Division Series last October.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Aybar adjusting to life after Howie

Aybar adjusting to life after Howie

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Erick Aybar likes his feeds from second basemen slightly high and away from his body, so he can stretch his left arm back, pivot his body and gain some momentum toward first base to complete a double play. Howie Kendrick likes them out in front so he can come across the bag, but when a speedy runner is coming toward second base on a slow roller, he expects the feed from the shortstop off to his right so he can use the bag as protection, and Aybar used to put it there every single time.

That's the kind of chemistry you build after turning double plays together for the better part of 10 years.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pujols dreams of title, daughter in Olympics

Pujols dreams of title, daughter in Olympics

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Albert Pujols has a 9-year-old daughter, Sophia, who's really passionate about gymnastics and getting really good at it. On Saturday, Pujols and his wife, Deidre, watched her capture first place at a big meet in St. Louis.

"Tears were coming out of our eyes," Pujols said. "We were so happy for her."

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels to 'turn the dial a little bit more' on shifting in 2015

Angels to 'turn the dial a little bit more' on shifting in 2015

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels followed the recent trend throughout baseball last season and incorporated a lot more shifting to their defense.

In 2015, they'll take it to a new level.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dipoto: Angels not in market for another bat

Dipoto: Angels not in market for another bat

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels still aren't sure when Josh Hamilton will join their lineup -- not to mention when he'll show up for Spring Training -- but that hasn't prompted Jerry Dipoto to search for another bat from outside the organization.

The Angels' general manager feels the presence of left-handed-hitting outfielder Matt Joyce along with fourth outfielder Collin Cowgill and Dan Robertson -- acquired from the Rangers for a player to be named or cash in November -- provide enough outfield depth in the meantime. Joyce will start the season in left field, with C.J. Cron a likely candidate at designated hitter.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.