MESA, Ariz. -- Angels third baseman David Freese was a late scratch from Tuesday's lineup against the Cubs because of tightness in one of his quads, which means he'll leave Arizona without an extra-base hit. Freese, whose injury isn't deemed serious, finished his first stint of Cactus League play batting .250 in 44 at-bats -- five months after posting only a .526 OPS in 17 playoff games with the Cardinals.
Those numbers don't coincide with how he feels, though.
"I'm liking how I'm driving it," said Freese, who will be in Southern California on Wednesday and is expected to play in the Freeway Series opener against the Dodgers on Thursday. "Obviously I'm not getting a lot of results, but I'm hitting hard line drives for singles. They'll find the gaps in the season. I'm putting some good wood on some balls to right that are getting caught, but I'll take that now."
Freese points to his seven walks, compared to six strikeouts, and notices that he can get "deeper into his base" and use his legs more now that his back isn't bothering him like it did in 2013.
He also recalls the spring of 2012, when he was coming off being the Most Valuable Player of the National League Championship Series and World Series, then batted only .188 in the Grapefruit League and went on to have his most productive season in the Major Leagues, batting .293/.372/.467.
"Every year it's different [in Spring Training]," Freese said. "It is what it is. You keep working, and when the lights come on, you're ready."
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.Less