Angels' Kendrys Morales hits 'plateau' in return from broken leg
The Angels expected Kendrys Morales, who is recovering from a broken lower left leg, to begin running curves on the grass on Tuesday, but he was unable to do so Tuesday and Wednesday, casting further doubt that the slugging first baseman will be ready by opening day.
"It's not a setback; there are just some plateaus guys hit," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "You can't force things. He's going to keep working, keep moving forward."
Scioscia said Morales, who hit .306 with 34 home runs and 108 runs batted in in 2009 but missed most of 2010 because of the injury, will need to begin playing in exhibition games by this weekend in order to get enough at-bats to be ready by the March 31 season opener in Kansas City.
But it is looking more and more likely that Morales will open the season on the disabled list and rookie Mark Trumbo, who is tied for the major league lead with five home runs this spring, will open at first base. If Morales is on the active roster to start the season, he will probably be relegated to designated hitter.
The Angels continue Cactus League play with a 1:10 p.m. game Wednesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The game will give players their first look at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the new Scottsdale, Ariz., spring home for the Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.
Probable opening-day starter Jered Weaver is scheduled to pitch for the Angels, as are relievers Hisanori Takahashi, Michael Kohn and Jason Bulger.
The Angels lineup:
3B Maicer Izturis
SS Erick Aybar
LF Bobby Abreu
RF Torii Hunter
CF Vernon Wells
2B Howie Kendrick
1B Mark Trumbo
C Jeff Mathis
P Jered Weaver
-- Mike DiGiovanna in Tempe, Ariz.
Photo: Kendrys Morales. Credit: Charlie Riedel / Associated Press