ANAHEIM -- Angels reliever Dane De La Rosa was "very impressive" while throwing in an extended spring game in Arizona on Thursday, Mike Scioscia said prior to Friday's series opener against the Rangers.
De La Rosa, the 31-year-old right-hander who's rehabbing from irritation in his right s/c joint, is "very close" to starting a rehab assignment and "his velocity is significantly better right now," the Angels' skipper added.
That's an encouraging sign, given recent history.
De La Rosa battled a right forearm strain in Spring Training, but recovered quickly and was throwing well -- until he made his 2014 debut on April 12. De La Rosa's average fastball velocity was 88.3 mph during that one-third-of-an-inning outing -- it was 94.6 mph last year -- and the Angels couldn't pinpoint why, ultimately placing him on the disabled list.
"I think there were some of the physical issues he was dealing with that needed to be worked out, and I think he's hopefully over that hurdle," Scioscia said. "Hopefully he'll get good outings from him now and see him here in a reasonable amount of time."
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.