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Angels briefing: Kendrys Morales to open on DL; Mark Trumbo nears return; Joel Pineiro to pitch in triple-A game

March 20, 2011 | 12:36 pm

Morales_325 Angels Manager Mike Scioscia made official Sunday what has been common knowledge for more than a week: First baseman Kendrys Morales, who is still recovering from a broken bone above his left ankle, will open the season on the disabled list.

Morales, who in 2009 hit .306 with 34 home runs and 108 runs batted in, was hoping to run the bases for the first time last Tuesday, but he has been slowed by a sore left big toe, a problem that may have been caused by wearing spikes that are too narrow. He will need several more days to recover from the toe injury, and then he will resume his running progression.

"It would be wrong, if he feels better in three or four days, to try to fire him up for opening day," Scioscia said, referring to the March 31 season opener in Kansas City. "That's a lot to ask of a guy who needs to prepare for the whole season."

Morales' probable replacement at first base, Mark Trumbo, missed his fourth straight game Sunday because of tightness in his right groin. But Trumbo ran the bases at full speed on Sunday and expects to return to the lineup Monday.

Joel Pineiro was scheduled to start Sunday's Cactus League game against the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields, but right-hander Matt Palmer will start in his place.

Pineiro will pitch in a triple-A game in Tempe because the Angels want to regulate his work load to assure he starts at least six innings and throws 90 pitches.

Bobby Wilson was scheduled to catch Pineiro, but Wilson, who is suffering from flu-like symptoms, went home sick Sunday morning. Hank Conger will catch Pineiro.

-- Mike DiGiovanna in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Photo: Kendrys Morales last month at spring training. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire