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Maronde, Cordero among eight Angels sent down

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels cut eight players from Major League camp Sunday: pitchers Nick Maronde, Chad Cordero, Fernando Cabrera and Kevin Johnson, outfielders Scott Cousins and Matt Young, infielder Tommy Field and catcher Luke Carlin.

With Brad Mills being claimed off waivers by the Rangers and Vernon Wells looking likely to be traded to the Yankees, the Angels' Spring Training roster is now at 34 players.

Maronde, the Angels' top pitching prospect and ranked No. 2 in the organization by MLB.com, came into camp battling for a spot in the bullpen, and even though he didn't win it, the 23-year-old left-hander will remain a reliever in Double-A.

Maronde was primarily a starter in the Minors, going 11-4 with a 2.22 ERA in 31 games (29 starts). But he thrived in the bullpen as a September callup last year, giving up one run and striking out seven in six innings, and the Angels believe that's where his future lies.

"He's a guy that's going to be able to go in there in one-inning spurts and just do what a guy who pitches in the back end can do," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He has that upside."

The latest cuts provide some clarity to the Opening Day roster -- though the pending Wells trade could affect some of that.

With Ryan Madson starting the season on the disabled list, Garrett Richards, David Carpenter and lefty specialist Mitch Stetter are the remaining relievers currently vying for two open spots in the bullpen.

Infielders Andrew Romine, Luis Jimenez, Brendan Harris, Luis Rodriguez and Efren Navarro and outfielders J.B. Shuck and Kole Calhoun are in competition for three bench spots (if the Wells trade goes through). Hank Conger, Chris Snyder and John Hester are fighting for the backup catcher job.

Cordero, looking to make a comeback after being out of baseball for almost two full seasons, may start the season in Class A to get his feet wet, but that has yet to be determined. The 31-year-old former Nats closer has given up 12 runs in 5 2/3 Cactus League innings this spring.

"First of all, it's remarkable, what he's been through in the last couple of years on and off the field, for him to show so well in our camp," Scioscia said. "I think he's on his way."

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.

{"event":["prospect" ,"spring_training" ] }
{"event":["prospect" ,"spring_training" ] }
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