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Angels' Kendry Morales and Alberto Callaspo progressing in comebacks

March 7, 2011 | 10:54 am

Callaspo_350 Monday morning notes on the road with the Angels in Mesa:

--Kendry Morales and Alberto Callaspo continue to make steady progress in rehabbing their injuries. Morales, who hasn't played since fracturing his left ankle in May, is close to putting his full body weight on the ankle while running on a treadmill. Once he can do that for a few days, Manager Mike Scioscia will work him into the normal fielding drills at first base, then into the lineup for an exhibition game. Scioscia believes that if Morales can play by March 20 he should be ready for opening day.

"We're still saying we anticipate him being ready for the start of the season if there's no setbacks," said Scioscia, who said how Morales feels the day after a game or two will be key to the pace of his comeback. "If he's in games on the 20th, that's 10 [exhibition] games he gets to play. So we're optimistic. What it's going to really hinge on is how is he bouncing back?"

Callaspo, who developed a sore shoulder while playing winter ball in his native Venezuela, is stretching his throwing out to 120 feet while continuing to participate in defensive drills. He was in the lineup as the designated hitter Monday -- he came in batting .143 with two singles in 14 spring at-bats -- and could play in the field before the weekend.

--Hank Conger, who is battling Bobby Wilson for the backup catcher job, is out for a second consecutive day with forearm tightness. Conger has been wearing an elastic sleeve on his arm since playing against the Brewers on Saturday and could be out a couple of more days, Scioscia said. Conger is hitting .071 in six games.

--With analyst Jose Mota returning to Southern California after Monday afternoon's game with the Chicago Cubs, play-by-play announcer Terry Smith says he'll team with former Angel slugger Tim Salmon in the announcing booth Tuesday. What Smith is calling Salmon's broadcasting debut can be heard on the Angels' flagship radio station, KLAA-AM (830) as well as Fox Sports West and on the MLB network.

-- Kevin Baxter in Mesa, Ariz.

Photo: Alberto Callaspo. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times