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