Angels Morning Briefing: Scot Shields retires
Scot Shields, the Angels' brilliant set-up man for much of the last decade, has retired and will discuss his decision later today, the team announced Friday morning.
Shields, 35, has suffered through a knee injury and arm pain in recent years, but from 2004 through 2008 he struck out 432 batters in 435 innings, setting up Francisco Rodriguez in the team's gifted bullpen.
"He evolved into the gold standard of what setup men are," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. "He could've gone a lot of places and been a closer, but he was committed to this organization and this organization was committed to him.
"He accepted his role and became the best at it.... He had no problems with his role and that speaks volumes about what Scot was."
TODAY'S LINEUP: After using just one regular starter, Peter Bourjos, in Thursday night's shutout loss against the San Francisco Giants, the Angels beefed up their lineup for Friday's 1 p.m. game against the San Diego Padres at Tempe Diablo Stadium: 1. Maicier Izturis, 2B; 2. Howie Kendrick, 1B; 3. Bobby Abreu, LF; 4. Torii Hunter, RF; 5. Vernon Wells, CF; 6. Alberto Callaspo, DH; 7. Erick Aybar, SS; 8. Jeff Mathis, C; 9. Brandon Wood, 3B.
Scioscia said starting pitcher Ervin Santana will be used for about 75 pitches, perhaps through five innings.
Second baseman Kendrick is filling in at first base while the team continues to wait on the recovery of Kendrys Morales, who didn't attempt to run Friday while continuing to come back from a fractured lower leg.
"I don't know what's going to happen, but I've played [first] in the past and it's all about getting some time," Kendrick said. "We have a lot of guys who can step in there, but you want [Morales'] bat in there. You're missing his power, hitting and defense."
Morales was seen in the trainer's room lying on a table, having his left leg rubbed with lotion and using an elastic band to stretch his ankle and nearby muscles.
"There's not much different than [Thursday]," Scioscia said. "He's being evaluated by the medical staff to see when he can continue his push. Right now, it's a plateau. There's no way you can rush this thing. The last seven or eight days have been stagnant."
Scioscia has said previously he wanted Morales to start playing games this weekend to get sufficient at-bats before the March 31 season opener at Kansas City.
"As the mechanism of his ankle gets normalized, the flexion is not the same as the other ankle," Scioscia said. "The toes get compromised, all the peripheral stuff, atrophy."
Scioscia wasn't ready to announce Mark Trumbo as the opening-day first baseman yet.
"We're not to that point," Scioscia said.
ACHES, PAINS: Trumbo (right groin tightness) said he could be ready to start Saturday.
Callaspo said he felt fine after playing Thursday following shoulder and calf injuries.
Hunter rested away from the facility Thursday due to stomach-flu symptoms, but returned Friday and declared himself "good enough" to play.
Outfielder Reggie Willits remained out since suffering a left calf injury Sunday and said he hopes to be running by "the first or middle of next week. I'm building up strength, stamina. It's fatiguing quick. I've never had a calf [injury], taking it day by day."
-- Lance Pugmire in Tempe, Ariz.
Photo: Scot Shields in 2008. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times