Jepsen won't let triceps sideline him for opener

Jepsen won't let triceps sideline him for opener

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Tightness in his right triceps muscle has kept Kevin Jepsen from appearing in a game since March 9, but there's a "zero percent" chance it'll keep him from being ready by Opening Day, the Angels' hard-throwing reliever pronounced on Sunday.

In fact, Jepsen said, he'd be ready to pitch right now if it was the regular season.

But with three Cactus League appearances already under his belt, little prep time required of a one-inning reliever and two weeks of exhibitions remaining, there's little need to rush.

"Maybe it seems serious because I haven't picked up a ball, but at the same time, it's spring," Jepsen said. "If this was during the season, I would never have taken a day off. But we have a little time now, so I'd rather take the time now, when we have it."

Jepsen, the hard-throwing righty who posted a 1.67 ERA in 40 games after coming back up last July, played catch and threw a bullpen session shortly after his most recent outing. Irritation in his triceps muscle prompted him to shut it down recently, but he plans to throw again on Tuesday and is expected to appear in a game shortly thereafter.

Jepsen believes he can pretty much pick up where he left off.

"I've thrown enough, I've thrown in a few games, and I've only taken a couple days off from throwing," he said. "Everything will be right back where it needs to be."

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.