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An early starter, Maronde should end up in 'pen

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Nick Maronde's future in the Major Leagues is probably as a reliever. He has the makeup, throws left-handed, has good command of his fastball and slider, doesn't have that third pitch -- a changeup -- locked down and had success out of the bullpen with the Angels last year.

For now, though, he'll be stretched out.

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"First and foremost, we want to give him a chance to make our team, because he could be valuable and he showed it last year ... but he's still developing," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "For him to develop like we talked about, with the command of a breaking ball, is something that you need reps for. And you have a better chance to do that as a starter in the Minor Leagues than in the bullpen. So I think from a development component, it'd be good for him to start."

In his first full season in the pros, Maronde jumped three levels in the Angels' system last year, compiling a 2.26 ERA while starting 18 of his 20 games, then gave up only one run in 12 appearances (six innings) with the Angels as a reliever -- a role he starred in at the University of Florida.

"Small sample size," Maronde said, smiling.

Now that the Angels added a second lefty in Sean Burnett, though, the 23-year-old's chances of making the Opening Day roster as a reliever are slim. Chances are he'll be starting for the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees in April.

Asked what role he thinks he'll serve in the Majors long-term, Maronde said: "I think it just depends on what the need is, to be honest. Either way, I'll be happy."

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