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Angels morning spring report: Escobar could return before May 1

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Kelvim Escobar emerged from Monday's minor league start -- his first game action since undergoing shoulder surgery last July -- with normal stiffness but no problems, and the veteran right-hander will start another minor league game on Saturday.

The Angels have mapped out a plan for Escobar that, barring setback, would stretch him out to the 100-pitch range by the third week of April and return him to the rotation by the end of April.

Escobar won't pitch in a Cactus League game, because the Angels play their last game in Arizona on April 1, and Escobar's next start after Saturday would be April 2. Escobar will either remain in Arizona after the team breaks camp to pitch in a minor league game or pitch against the Dodgers in an exhibition game at Dodger Stadium on April 2.

Left-hander Joe Saunders will get the start today against the San Diego Padres, and relievers Kevin Jepsen and Justin Speier are both scheduled to pitch.

The Angels lineup:

Chone Figgins, 3B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Bobby Abreu, LF
Vladimir Guerrero, DH
Torii Hunter, CF
Kendry Morales, 1B
Gary Matthews Jr., RF
Bobby Wilson, C
Maicer Izturis, SS

-- Mike DiGiovanna

 
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