Angels happy to have a day for healing
The Angels' lone off-day of the spring couldn't come at a better time given the nagging injuries and illness that left at least seven players unavailable to play Sunday. And two other players were able to hit but not play the field.
That's why Manager Mike Scioscia is basically locking the clubhouse Monday, forcing players who don't need treatment or who aren't playing in an 11 a.m. "B" squad game with Colorado to stay away. The Angels had split-squad games with Seattle and Cincinnati on Sunday, playing host to the Mariners in Tempe while sending another team 45 minutes up the freeway to Goodyear to play the Reds.
Outfielder Torii Hunter and infielder Maicer Izturis missed both games, taking their second consecutive afternoon off, Hunter with a bone bruise in his hand and Izturis with undisclosed tightness. Both took batting practice Sunday morning.
Two other outfielders, Peter Bourjos and Reggie Willits, were also unavailable to play in either of Sunday's split-squad games. Bourjos was a late scratch from Saturday's lineup with what was originally called groin tightness. It's a nagging problem Bourjos says he gets every spring, much as pitchers go through a dead arm period every March.
"I get a dead groin," said Bourjos, who was examined Sunday by Dr. Lewis Yocum, the team orthopedist. Bourjos also took part in batting practice but Willits, who came into the clubhouse wearing a wrap on his left calf and limping noticeably, did nothing but receive treatment. Willits was felled with calf tightness while trying to beat out an infield hit Saturday against the Indians.
"There’s a little pain in it. It’s mostly just really tight," said Willits, who was also examined by Yocum. "I'm hoping for the best. From what they said, it appears to be pretty mild. I hope they’re right."
Closer Fernando Rodney, meanwhile, didn't even bother to report Sunday after developing flu-like symptoms, the same condition that caused outfielder Tyson Auer to take himself out of the lineup for the exhibition with the Reds in Goodyear. And first baseman Kendrys Morales, rehabbing the ankle he broke last May, still appears about a week away from his spring debut.
Meanwhile top prospect Mike Trout and utility infielder Alberto Callaspo were in the Angels' split-squad lineups as designated hitters -- Trout in Tempe, Callaspo in Goodyear -- because they can hit but not throw. Both players have been unable to play in the field because of sore shoulders.
-- Kevin Baxter in Tempe, Ariz.
Photo: Angels outfielder Torii Hunter goes through a running drill during spring training. Credit: Mark Duncan / Associated Press