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No ace for the Angels? No problem for Mike Scioscia

Mike TEMPE, Ariz. -- The lack of a dominant starting pitcher, a true ace such as CC Sabathia or Roy Halladay, has hardly tempered Manager Mike Scioscia's enthusiasm for the Angels, who have five very capable starters in Jered Weaver, Joe Saunders, Ervin Santana, Scott Kazmir and Joel Pineiro.

"For the regular season, we're all confident in what our rotation is going to bring," Scioscia said Wednesday, as pitchers and catchers reported to Tempe Diablo Stadium in advance of Thursday's first workout. "As you get down to the pennant race and you need that lead dog, we have candidates who will all hopefully be in place to be that guy who wants the ball in a pennant race."

Weaver reminds Scioscia of a younger John Lackey, who emerged as the Angels' ace in 2007 but signed as a free agent with the Boston Red Sox this winter. Santana, when healthy, has the stuff to be an ace, Kazmir was an ace in Tampa Bay before injuries slowed him in 2009, and Saunders is one of baseball's better young left-handers.

"We have guys who have the potential to be front-of-the-rotation starters," Scioscia said. "The thing is doing it. That's what John brought, but he had to evolve into that. When he started to evolve, you could see that potential in him."

-- Mike DiGiovanna

Photo: Mike Scioscia. Credit: Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times

 
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