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Angels spring training update: Morales in lineup; Vladdy to play for Rangers

March 8, 2010 | 10:58 am

Kendry SURPRISE, Ariz. -- First baseman Kendry Morales, who reported to camp a week late while he waited for U.S. immigration paperwork to be completed, will make his Cactus League debut Monday against the Texas Rangers.

Morales, who had a breakout season in 2009, batting .306 with 34 home runs and 108 runs batted in and finished fifth in American League most valuable player voting, is in the cleanup spot.

The team's three top short relievers -- Scot Shields, Kevin Jepsen and Fernando Rodney -- also continue to make progress toward pitching in exhibition games.

Shields, who missed most of 2009 because of left-knee surgery, and Jepsen, who experienced shoulder tendinitis last September, are both scheduled to throw 20-pitch simulated games on Tuesday. They will probably each need one more simulated-game session before pitching in Cactus League games.

Rodney, the former Detroit Tigers closer who signed a two-year, $11-million deal this winter and has been slowed by sore shins, was scheduled to throw his third bullpen workout Monday and will probably progress to simulated games this weekend.

The Angels will also play their first game against former Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero, who signed with the Rangers this winter after a distinguished six-year career in Anaheim.

The Angels spoke to Guerrero's agent about a possible return but did not make a formal contract offer to the 2004 AL MVP.

"There are no hard feelings at all," Guerrero, speaking through an interpreter, said before the game. "If they wanted to sign me, then yeah, I would have wanted to return. But they never asked me."

For more on Guerrero later today, go to www.latimes.com/sports.

TODAY'S LINEUPS

ANGELS

SS  Erick Aybar

2B  Maicer Izturis

LF  Juan Rivera

1B  Kendry Morales

C   Mike Napoli

3B  Brandon Wood

RF  Terry Evans

DH  Robb Quinlan

CF  Reggie Willits

P   Ervin Santana

RANGERS

CF  Julio Borbon

3B  Michael Young

LF  Josh Hamilton

DH  Vladimir Guerrero

2B  Ian Kinsler

RF  David Murphy

1B  Chris Davis

C   Taylor Teagarden

SS  Elvis Andrus

P   Brandon McCarthy

-- Mike DiGiovanna

Photo: Kendry Morales. Credit: Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times

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