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Angels relievers progressing in throwing programs

February 24, 2010 | 10:14 am

Scot Shields, Kevin Jepsen and Fernando Rodney have all extended their long-toss programs to about 150 feet, and all three right-handers are expected to begin throwing within a week to 10 days, Manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday morning.

The Angels have put all three right-handers on a slower track this spring because Shields is recovering from left-knee surgery that sidelined him for most of 2009, Rodney came to camp with a pair of sore shins, and Jepsen threw a career-high 54 2/3 innings as a rookie last season.

Shields, a durable and dependable setup man from 2004-08, also was being held out of fielding practice and running drills, but he said his arm felt excellent and he had experienced no trouble with the knee so far. "I'm letting it go," he said. "I'm putting a pretty good effort into it."

Jepsen, who emerged as a hard-throwing setup man last season, said his arm felt strong after being slowed last September by shoulder tendinitis.

"I was hanging a little after the season, I was tired, kind of beat down, but it bounced back really well," Jepsen said. "I was surprised how quickly it bounced back. I don't see any issues or problems heading into the season."

-- Mike DiGiovanna in Tempe, Ariz.