TEMPE, Ariz. -- Intra-squad games are a Spring Training staple, if nothing else, as a welcome break in the monotony between routine drills and the onset of exhibition play.
Not for the Angels.
For the first time in recent memory, the Angels are not staging any intra-squad games, possibly the only one of the 30 Major League teams to do so.
"The timetable seems to be a little tighter," explained manager Mike Scioscia. "It feels more cramped from the first workout to the first Spring Training game. Also, [pitching coach Mike Butcher] is giving pitchers one extra day to rebound between starts, so that cuts into the timespan."
Angels batterymates had their first workout on Feb. 14, but the full squad did not join in until last Saturday. They open Cactus League play on Saturday, against the Dodgers.
"Intra-squad games are as much for defensive positioning as they are for pitchers," said Scioscia, dismissing any effect of not having them. "We see enough of how people catch the ball and having them throw to the right base in our regular drills."
What's next to go, PFP (pitchers fielding practice)?