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Angels prospects rake as Burlington scores 28

Adell, Marsh both belt grand slams, combine for 15 RBIs
MLB.com

Runs were overflowing Friday in Burlington, Iowa, as the Class A Bees, powered by top Angels prospects Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh, enjoyed a 28-7 victory over the Quad City River Bandits at Community Field.

Adell (Angels No. 2) and Marsh (No. 5) combined to go 6-for-11 with 15 RBIs and six runs scored from the second and third spots in the Bees' order. Marsh hit a two-run double in the fourth, followed by Adell's RBI double in the fifth. Adell, No. 62 on the Top 100 Prospects list, then hit a grand slam with one out in the sixth, followed by a two-out grand slam for Marsh in the eighth. Burlington plated eight first-inning runs to take control and followed up with five-run frames in the fifth, sixth and eighth.

Runs were overflowing Friday in Burlington, Iowa, as the Class A Bees, powered by top Angels prospects Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh, enjoyed a 28-7 victory over the Quad City River Bandits at Community Field.

Adell (Angels No. 2) and Marsh (No. 5) combined to go 6-for-11 with 15 RBIs and six runs scored from the second and third spots in the Bees' order. Marsh hit a two-run double in the fourth, followed by Adell's RBI double in the fifth. Adell, No. 62 on the Top 100 Prospects list, then hit a grand slam with one out in the sixth, followed by a two-out grand slam for Marsh in the eighth. Burlington plated eight first-inning runs to take control and followed up with five-run frames in the fifth, sixth and eighth.

• Box score

The Bees finished with 28 runs on 24 hits to improve to 5-5 on the young season.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

Los Angeles Angels

Ohtani moves up in order and keeps on hitting

MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- It didn't take long for Shohei Ohtani to take to a change in the batting order.

Batting seventh for the first time on Friday night, the Angels' designated hitter registered his first career double in his first at-bat, then he added a single in the eighth for his first multi-hit game since April 4, as the Halos rallied for a 5-4 over the Royals, extending their winning streak to six games and improving to 12-3 on the season..

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KANSAS CITY -- It didn't take long for Shohei Ohtani to take to a change in the batting order.

Batting seventh for the first time on Friday night, the Angels' designated hitter registered his first career double in his first at-bat, then he added a single in the eighth for his first multi-hit game since April 4, as the Halos rallied for a 5-4 over the Royals, extending their winning streak to six games and improving to 12-3 on the season..

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"I don't care where I hit in the order, as long as I'm in the lineup," Ohtani said via interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. "Plus, I had a good hitter in [Andrelton Simmons] hitting behind me, so I felt comfortable about that."

Facing Royals right-hander Jason Hammel in the second inning, Ohtani fought off an inside fastball on a 2-2 count and sent it down the left-field line for his first two-base hit. He struck out in his second at-bat, in the fourth, but not before turning an 0-2 count into a full one by fouling off three pitches.

In the sixth inning, Kansas City brought in left-handed side-armer Tim Hill. Ohtani hit a high chopper toward second base and nearly beat Whit Merrifield's throw to first, but he was out by half a step. Against right-hander Justin Grimm in the eighth, Ohtani worked the count from 0-2 to 2-2 before lining a single to center. After making his way to third, he sprinted home on Ian Kinsler's sacrifice fly for the deciding run.

Video: LAA@KC: Kinsler lifts a go-ahead sac fly in the 8th

The two-way phenom had hit eighth in his six previous starts at DH.

"I like him anywhere in the lineup," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We want Shohei to get his feet on the ground. It's his first go-around seeing a lot of these pitchers, and he's doing very well. I think it makes our lineup incredibly deep when you have him hitting down a little lower, just for the fact of the guys are swinging the bat up in front and maybe can set the table for him, too. We're going to walk before we run, but he's going to be in the lineup swinging the bat as much as we get him in there."

Ohtani is now batting .367 (11-for-30) with five extra-base hits, including three home runs, 11 RBIs and three walks in eight games with an at-bat this season. He's been just as impactful on the mound, going 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA and 18 strikeouts over 13 innings. Ohtani is scheduled to make his third pitching appearance in Sunday's series finale at Kauffman Stadium.

Pujols feeling good at 1B
With Ohtani in the lineup at DH, Albert Pujols made his ninth start of the season at first base. Through the first 15 games, Pujols has already played more games at first than he did all of last season, when he was limited to six starts on the field.

Pujols, who is 13 hits shy of 3,000 after going 2-for-5 on Friday, is on pace to start 94 games at first base this season, but Scioscia said his final total might not end up being that high.

Video: LAA@KC: Pujols skies a two-run homer to open scoring

"It's a small sample," Scioscia said. "I think there are going to be some weeks he'll play first base a lot and some maybe not as much. It's just going to be how the schedule flows and how he feels, and what the matchups are. But he feels very good right now. I think we're very comfortable right now with how things are working out, but it's a long season. We'll adjust to however we have to."

Pujols, 38, is likely to DH for the remainder of the series as Ohtani prepares for his upcoming start on the mound.

Worth noting
• Right-hander JC Ramirez will undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday, general manager Billy Eppler said. The procedure will force Ramirez to miss the rest of the 2018 season.

• The Angels optioned right-hander Felix Pena to Triple-A Salt Lake to clear a roster spot for left-hander Andrew Heaney, who was activated from the disabled list and made his season debut against the Royals on Friday.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels

Star RHP prospect Barria to debut today

21-year-old has enjoyed meteoric rise through Angels' farm system
MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- One year ago, Angels prospect Jaime Barria was pitching in the California League for Class A Advanced Inland Empire. Now he's in the Majors.

The 21-year-old right-hander is slated to make his MLB debut in today's series finale against the Rangers at Globe Life Park, capping the rapid ascent he's made through the Angels' farm system over the past 12 months.

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ARLINGTON -- One year ago, Angels prospect Jaime Barria was pitching in the California League for Class A Advanced Inland Empire. Now he's in the Majors.

The 21-year-old right-hander is slated to make his MLB debut in today's series finale against the Rangers at Globe Life Park, capping the rapid ascent he's made through the Angels' farm system over the past 12 months.

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Barria, a native of Panama, admitted Tuesday that even he didn't expect to be here so quickly.

"I'm only 21 years old," Barria said on Tuesday. "I thought this moment would come, just not so soon."

Ranked the Angels' No. 7 prospect by MLB Pipeline, Barria recorded a 2.80 ERA over 141 2/3 innings across three Minor League levels in 2017, finishing the season at Triple-A Salt Lake. Known for his command, Barria has a three-pitch mix that includes a low-90s fastball, a deceptive changeup and an 82-83 mph breaking ball.

Video: Barria on excellent 2017 season, 2018 improvements

"I learned at each level," Barria said. "I threw innings across three different levels last year, and it went really well. I feel prepared for my start tomorrow."

Only three other Panamanians were included on Opening Day rosters across MLB this season: the Braves' Johan Camargo, the Padres' Allen Cordoba and the D-backs' Randall Delgado. Barria said his family wouldn't be able to make the trip to Texas on Wednesday and would instead watch his start on TV.

The Angels optioned reliever Eduardo Paredes to Triple-A Salt Lake following Tuesday's 11-1 win to clear a roster spot for Barria ahead of his start on Wednesday.

Worth noting

• Second baseman Ian Kinsler (left adductor strain) is expecting to be activated off the 10-day disabled list on Thursday in Kansas City.

Shohei Ohtani will make his next start on the mound Sunday in Kansas City. Garrett Richards will pitch against the Royals on Saturday. The Angels have not yet announced their starters for the first two games of the four-game series, but Andrew Heaney is likely to slot back into the rotation on Thursday or Friday. Heaney opened the season on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation, but he threw a bullpen session on Monday at Globe Life Park and said he feels ready to go.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Jaime Barria

Ohtani's next challenge could be facing LHP

Angels phenom has started at DH only vs. right-handers
MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- One day after carrying a perfect game into the seventh inning, two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani rested, sitting out the Angels' 8-3 win over the Rangers on Monday night at Globe Life Park.

Ohtani probably won't be out of action for long. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Ohtani will be available to hit on Tuesday, though he wouldn't commit to having the left-handed slugger in the starting lineup against Texas. Ohtani's four starts at designated hitter have all come against righties, but the Rangers will send left-hander Martin Perez to the mound to oppose Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs on Tuesday.

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ARLINGTON -- One day after carrying a perfect game into the seventh inning, two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani rested, sitting out the Angels' 8-3 win over the Rangers on Monday night at Globe Life Park.

Ohtani probably won't be out of action for long. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Ohtani will be available to hit on Tuesday, though he wouldn't commit to having the left-handed slugger in the starting lineup against Texas. Ohtani's four starts at designated hitter have all come against righties, but the Rangers will send left-hander Martin Perez to the mound to oppose Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs on Tuesday.

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Ohtani had even splits as a hitter in Japan, but he did not start at DH against A's left-hander Sean Manaea in Oakland.

"Matchups just haven't evolved yet," Scioscia said. "Historically, he hits lefties as well as righties. We'll let it go. There's a lot of factors than just Shohei."

Ohtani has homered in three consecutive games as the Angels' designated hitter, though he has not batted since Friday. Over his first week in the Majors, Ohtani hit .389 (7-for-18) with three home runs and seven RBIs and went 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA and 18 strikeouts over 13 innings. He earned American League Player of the Week honors on Monday, to no one's surprise.

"Certain great athletes come along and just wow us and you just marvel at those guys," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "But to do it on both sides of the Major League field, I like it. I like it because there are a lot of great athletes who can hit or pitch, but this kid combines it all. He wants to do it both ways and really wants to do it well."

Video: Banister discusses Ohtani choosing the Angels

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Shohei Ohtani

Halos recall Morris, Schimpf from Triple-A

Bridwell, Fontana optioned in flurry of moves
MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- The Angels made a flurry of transactions before Saturday night's game against the A's, recalling right-handed reliever Akeel Morris and infielder Ryan Schimpf and optioning right-hander Parker Bridwell and infielder Nolan Fontana to Triple-A Salt Lake.

Adding Morris will provide some cover for the Angels' overtaxed bullpen, which has pitched 15 2/3 innings over the last two games after Tyler Skaggs and Bridwell were both knocked out of their starts early.

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ANAHEIM -- The Angels made a flurry of transactions before Saturday night's game against the A's, recalling right-handed reliever Akeel Morris and infielder Ryan Schimpf and optioning right-hander Parker Bridwell and infielder Nolan Fontana to Triple-A Salt Lake.

Adding Morris will provide some cover for the Angels' overtaxed bullpen, which has pitched 15 2/3 innings over the last two games after Tyler Skaggs and Bridwell were both knocked out of their starts early.

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"He's an arm that has pitched in the Major Leagues," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He has three terrific pitches. Hopefully he'll give us a boost to a bullpen, which has right now been stretched a little bit, obviously, with the last two games."

Morris, who was acquired from the Braves in exchange for a player to be named or cash earlier this week, logged a 3.09 ERA and averaged 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings in 30 games for Atlanta's Triple-A affiliate in 2017. The 25-year-old has allowed six runs over eight career innings (6.75 ERA) in the Majors.

"It's awesome," said Morris, a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands. "I feel like it's a great opportunity. I just want to do everything I can to help the team win ballgames, point blank. And I like red."

Morris made his season debut in Saturday's 7-3 loss to the A's, allowing one run on one hit in 2 1/3 innings with two walks and a strikeout.

The Angels have nine relievers and four starters on the roster, though they will have to expand their rotation later this week. Left-hander Andrew Heaney, who allowed one run over 6 1/3 innings in a rehab start with Class A Advanced Inland Empire on Friday, appears well positioned to rejoin the Angels during their upcoming series in Kansas City, though Scioscia said he will need to be evaluated by the club's medical staff and throw a bullpen session before his next step is determined.

Video: OAK@LAA: Schimpf strikes out in first Angels at-bat

Schimpf will replace Fontana as the Angels' utility infielder and can also play both corner outfield spots. A left-handed hitter, Schimpf posted an .809 OPS with 34 home runs over 142 games with the Padres from 2016 to '17.

"One thing [Schimpf's] got is big power," Scioscia said. "He's able to play three infield positions and both corner outfield positions, so we'll see where he works in. But he gives us a lot of depth because of his versatility."

Schimpf, 29, was traded three times over the last four months, bouncing from the Padres to the Rays, and then to the Braves before landing back in Southern California with the Angels, who acquired him from Atlanta in exchange for catcher Carlos Perez last week.

"It's been a little busy, for sure, moving the family around," Schimpf said. "But that comes with the territory. That's how it goes, but I'm excited to be here."

Schimpf pinch-hit for Jefry Marte on Saturday and struck out for the final out of the game.

The Angels also announced that catcher Juan Graterol cleared waivers and was outrighted to Salt Lake's roster. Graterol had been designated for assignment earlier this week.

Worth noting

Ian Kinsler (left adductor strain) took ground balls and hit on the field for the second consecutive day Saturday. Kinsler is eligible to be activated off the disabled list on Tuesday during the Angels' series against the Rangers in Arlington.

"We're hopeful we're getting close," Scioscia said. "Right now it's tough to put an end point on it because there's some things he has to do to make sure he's ready."

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Akeel Morris, Ryan Schimpf

Where Angels' Top 30 prospects are starting season

MLB.com

With the 2018 season getting started, here's a look at where the Angels' Top 30 prospects are projected to start the season:

1. Shohei Ohtani (MLB No. 1), RHP/OF -- Los Angeles Angels (MLB)
2. Jo Adell (MLB No. 62), OF -- Burlington Bees (A)
3. Kevin Maitan (MLB No. 87), SS -- Extended spring training
4. Jahmai Jones (MLB No. 93), OF -- Inland Empire 66ers (A Adv)
5. Brandon Marsh, OF -- Burlington Bees (A)
6. Chris Rodriguez, RHP -- Burlington Bees (A) - DL
7. Jaime Barria, RHP -- Salt Lake Bees (AAA)
8. Griffin Canning, RHP -- Inland Empire 66ers (A Adv)
9. Matt Thaiss, 1B -- Mobile BayBears (AA)
10. Michael Hermosillo, OF -- Salt Lake Bees (AAA)
11. Jesus Castillo, RHP -- Mobile BayBears (AA)
12. Jose Suarez, LHP -- Inland Empire 66ers (A Adv)
13. Jose Soriano, RHP -- Extended spring training
14. Taylor Ward, C -- Mobile BayBears (AA)
15. Leonado Rivas, SS -- Burlington Bees (A)
16. Livan Soto, SS -- Extended spring training
17. Eduardo Paredes, RHP -- Salt Lake Bees (AAA)
18. Nonie Williams, SS -- Extended spring training
19. Stiward Aquino, RHP -- Extended spring training
20. Miguel Almonte, RHP -- Salt Lake Bees (AAA)
21. Brennon Lund, OF -- Mobile BayBears (AA)
22. Luke Bard, RHP -- Los Angeles Angels (MLB)
23. Jerryell Rivera, LHP -- Extended spring training
24. David Fletcher, SS -- Salt Lake Bees (AAA)
25. Trent Deveaux, OF -- Extended spring training
26. Luis Pena, RHP -- Mobile BayBears (AA)
27. Cole Duensing, RHP -- Extended spring training
28. Jake Jewell, RHP -- Mobile BayBears (AA)
29. Joe Gatto, RHP -- Inland Empire 66ers (A Adv)
30. John Swanda, RHP -- Extended spring training

Angels prospect coverage | Angels Top 30 prospects stats

With the 2018 season getting started, here's a look at where the Angels' Top 30 prospects are projected to start the season:

1. Shohei Ohtani (MLB No. 1), RHP/OF -- Los Angeles Angels (MLB)
2. Jo Adell (MLB No. 62), OF -- Burlington Bees (A)
3. Kevin Maitan (MLB No. 87), SS -- Extended spring training
4. Jahmai Jones (MLB No. 93), OF -- Inland Empire 66ers (A Adv)
5. Brandon Marsh, OF -- Burlington Bees (A)
6. Chris Rodriguez, RHP -- Burlington Bees (A) - DL
7. Jaime Barria, RHP -- Salt Lake Bees (AAA)
8. Griffin Canning, RHP -- Inland Empire 66ers (A Adv)
9. Matt Thaiss, 1B -- Mobile BayBears (AA)
10. Michael Hermosillo, OF -- Salt Lake Bees (AAA)
11. Jesus Castillo, RHP -- Mobile BayBears (AA)
12. Jose Suarez, LHP -- Inland Empire 66ers (A Adv)
13. Jose Soriano, RHP -- Extended spring training
14. Taylor Ward, C -- Mobile BayBears (AA)
15. Leonado Rivas, SS -- Burlington Bees (A)
16. Livan Soto, SS -- Extended spring training
17. Eduardo Paredes, RHP -- Salt Lake Bees (AAA)
18. Nonie Williams, SS -- Extended spring training
19. Stiward Aquino, RHP -- Extended spring training
20. Miguel Almonte, RHP -- Salt Lake Bees (AAA)
21. Brennon Lund, OF -- Mobile BayBears (AA)
22. Luke Bard, RHP -- Los Angeles Angels (MLB)
23. Jerryell Rivera, LHP -- Extended spring training
24. David Fletcher, SS -- Salt Lake Bees (AAA)
25. Trent Deveaux, OF -- Extended spring training
26. Luis Pena, RHP -- Mobile BayBears (AA)
27. Cole Duensing, RHP -- Extended spring training
28. Jake Jewell, RHP -- Mobile BayBears (AA)
29. Joe Gatto, RHP -- Inland Empire 66ers (A Adv)
30. John Swanda, RHP -- Extended spring training

Angels prospect coverage | Angels Top 30 prospects stats

Team to watch
The Double-A Mobile BayBears have the most Top 30 prospects, with seven, but the Class A Burlington Bees in the Midwest League might be the most fun team in the system to watch. Checking out a pair of incredibly toolsy outfielders in Joe Adell and Brandon Marsh would be worth the price of admission by itself, but if you wait a little bit, you'll get high-upside right-hander Chris Rodriguez once he's healthy. All three are in the team's top six. Add in No. 15 Leonardo Rivas, the infielder who reached Burlington last year at age 19, and that's a fun quartet to check out.

Where baseball's top prospects are starting the 2018 season

Teams on MiLB.TV
Salt Lake Bees
Mobile BayBears
Inland Empire 66ers
Orem Owlz

New faces
When the Braves were penalized for violations of baseball's rules on signing international free agents by having 12 previously signed players set free, the Angels benefitted. They signed both No. 3 prospect Kevin Maitan for $2.2 million and No. 16 Livan Soto for $850K. The middle infielders will both start the year in extended spring training, awaiting assignment.

The Angels had been active on the international market earlier last summer, going to the Bahamas to sign speedster Trent Deveaux. The super-athletic outfielder got $1.2 million to sign. At age 17, he'll also get work in extended spring training before starting his pro career.

Players taken in the previous Draft typically go out and make their debuts that summer. Griffin Canning, the team's second-round pick last June, didn't pitch as a precaution, but he's ready to go and headed to Inland Empire.

The early part of Luke Bard's career was slowed by injury, but he made it to Triple-A with the Twins in 2017. When he wasn't protected from the Rule 5 Draft, the Angels nabbed him and he stuck, landing a spot in the big league bullpen.

The newest addition to the list is Miguel Almonte, who was designated for assignment by the Royals on Monday and acquired for cash considerations or a player to be named later earlier today. The right-hander has a pair of plus pitches, but has struggled with consistency throughout his career.

On the shelf
The Angels are very excited about Chris Rodriguez's upside, but they'll have to wait a bit to see him take on the Midwest League this year. A stress reaction in his back this spring has landed him on Burlington's DL to start the year.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Los Angeles Angels

Halos get prospect Almonte from Royals

MLB.com

The Angels acquired right-hander Miguel Almonte from the Royals for a player to be named or cash considerations on Wednesday. Kansas City had designated Almonte for assignment, after claiming former Indians outfielder Abraham Almonte (no relation) off waivers on Monday.

Almonte, 25, was ranked as the Royals' No. 12 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, and posted a 1.72 ERA in 16 appearances (nine starts) between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha last season. He was battling posterior right shoulder soreness at the time of his designation.

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The Angels acquired right-hander Miguel Almonte from the Royals for a player to be named or cash considerations on Wednesday. Kansas City had designated Almonte for assignment, after claiming former Indians outfielder Abraham Almonte (no relation) off waivers on Monday.

Almonte, 25, was ranked as the Royals' No. 12 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, and posted a 1.72 ERA in 16 appearances (nine starts) between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha last season. He was battling posterior right shoulder soreness at the time of his designation.

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Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

Los Angeles Angels, Miguel Almonte

Prospect Jones shifting to second base

Heaney feels 'fresh' after pitching in intrasquad game
MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- The Angels are moving Jahmai Jones, the club's No. 4 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, from outfield to second base, effective immediately. Jones will open the 2018 season with the Angels' Class-A Advanced affiliate, the Inland Empire 66ers, and is also the No. 93 prospect in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline's rankings.

"The strength of his profile tools and his history of playing there in high school give us confidence that he can handle the transition," general manager Billy Eppler said Monday.

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ANAHEIM -- The Angels are moving Jahmai Jones, the club's No. 4 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, from outfield to second base, effective immediately. Jones will open the 2018 season with the Angels' Class-A Advanced affiliate, the Inland Empire 66ers, and is also the No. 93 prospect in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline's rankings.

"The strength of his profile tools and his history of playing there in high school give us confidence that he can handle the transition," general manager Billy Eppler said Monday.

View Full Game Coverage

Jones, 20, hit .302/.368/.488 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in 191 plate appearances with Inland Empire last season after a late July promotion from Class A Burlington. He was the Angels' second-round Draft pick in 2015.

Tweet from @jamjones7: Spring training comes to a close!!!! New season and new adventures!!! #secondbase #backtotheDirt

Heaney update

Andrew Heaney will have a second rehab assignment Friday, when he will throw 80 to 90 pitches in a Minor League game, putting him on track to return from the left elbow inflammation that has kept him out thus far this season. His first assignment, in an intrasquad game Sunday, yielded 69 pitches and an optimistic assessment from both Heaney and Eppler.

"I felt really good," Heaney said Monday. "After the game and today, it didn't really feel like I pitched. I felt that fresh."

In Heaney's absence, the Angels have opted for a traditional five-man rotation in lieu of their originally planned six-man rotation. Whenever Heaney ends up returning from injury, expect the Angels to return to their six-man plan.

Cozart excited for home opener

As much as Zack Cozart may want to believe -- and as much as other players use -- the cliche that Monday's home opener is "just another game," it isn't for Cozart, who made his Angels debut at Angel Stadium on Monday night.

"For me personally, it'll be a little more special just because it's my first time here in Anaheim," Cozart said before the game. "I think guys try to take it one game at a time and not put too much pressure on one night, because we play so many games, but it's definitely a special moment. You only get one Opening Night, so you want it to be special."

Worth noting

• Though the Angels have not officially announced when Shohei Ohtani's next start on the mound will be, he has not pitched a game on fewer than six days' rest this year, so his next outing is unlikely to come before Sunday.

"There's no doubt that you have to be mindful that Shohei has a lot on his plate and we certainly want him to rebound as much as he can every time he pitches," manager Mike Scioscia said.

Scioscia again commended Ohtani's performance in Oakland on Sunday.

"Shohei gave us a chance to win and that's what we're asking from our starting rotation," Scioscia said. "It's just a great tribute to his poise. He gave up some runs, but he knuckled down and gave us some strong innings."

• The Angels' Minor League affiliates announced their initial rosters Monday, revealing where many of the organization's top prospects will begin the 2018 season.

Right-hander Jaime Barria, who is ranked the club's No. 7 prospect by MLB Pipeline, and outfielder Michael Hermosillo (No. 10) are listed on the Triple-A Salt Lake roster, while first baseman Matt Thaiss (No. 9) will break with Double-A Mobile. Inland Empire's roster will include Jones and right-hander Griffin Canning (No. 8). Outfielders Jo Adell (No. 2) and Brandon Marsh (No. 5) will open with Burlington.

Avery Yang is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim.

Los Angeles Angels, Zack Cozart, Andrew Heaney, Jahmai Jones

Sho time! Ohtani dazzles in mound debut

MLB.com

OAKLAND -- About three hours before Shohei Ohtani took the mound for his first start in the Majors, Mike Trout turned to his Japanese teammate in the Angels' clubhouse and expressed his excitement about the top prospect's impending pitching debut.

"Sho time!" Trout said.

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OAKLAND -- About three hours before Shohei Ohtani took the mound for his first start in the Majors, Mike Trout turned to his Japanese teammate in the Angels' clubhouse and expressed his excitement about the top prospect's impending pitching debut.

"Sho time!" Trout said.

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Trout wasn't the only one eagerly anticipating Ohtani's outing. Two hundred and forty members of the Japanese media packed into the Coliseum on Sunday afternoon for the occasion, while many more tuned in at 5:05 a.m. on Monday to watch the live broadcast back in Japan.

They were treated to a performance that was largely dominant but also imperfect, a fitting outcome for a 23-year-old rookie who is undertaking a groundbreaking endeavor in front of an international audience.

Three days after making his MLB debut as the Angels' designated hitter on Opening Day, Ohtani picked up his first win as a pitcher by allowing three runs over six innings in the Halos' 7-4 victory over the A's.

Video: LAA@OAK: Ohtani K's six, earns win in pitching debut

With his outing, Ohtani became the first Major League player to start as a non-pitcher on Opening Day and then start as a pitcher within his team's first 10 games since Babe Ruth with the Red Sox in 1919.

"Personally, I feel like I've gotten off to a good start," said Ohtani, who went 1-for-5 as a left-handed hitter on Thursday. "Obviously, the team went 3-1 on their first road trip, so very happy with the results."

The right-hander gave up just three hits -- all in the second inning -- including a three-run homer to Matt Chapman. Ohtani induced 18 swings and misses, a total surpassed by Angels starters only three times last season. Over the past 10 seasons, only Alex Colome of the Rays induced more swings and misses in an MLB debut when he did it 20 times in 2013.

Video: LAA@OAK: Ohtani discusses his pitching debut

Ohtani retired 14 of the next 15 batters he faced, helping the Halos secure a series victory in the opening weekend of their 2018 campaign. Ohtani, whose fastball averaged 97.8 mph and topped out at 99.6 mph, struck out six, walked one and threw 92 pitches (63 strikes).

"I think you saw the talent and you saw him being able to put pitches together," manager Mike Scioscia said. "You can see how he can get hitters out, not just the velocity but all his pitches. He used everything. Outside of one stretch of three hitters in the second inning, that's about as well as you can pitch."

Ohtani underwhelmed in his five starts as a pitcher during Spring Training, but he shone on Sunday, unleashing a blazing fastball and showcasing vicious splitters and sliders. He had trouble throwing his splitter during his spring outings, but catcher Martin Maldonado said his pitches behaved differently away from the dry conditions of Arizona.

Video: LAA@OAK: Maldonado on Ohtani's pitching debut

"I've been in Arizona for 14 Spring Trainings," Maldonado said. "I know a lot of people who have trouble with split fingers and curveballs. I knew he had a good splitter. I knew coming in, the air is different, so I think his pitches are going to be different here than in Arizona."

Ohtani recorded three of his first four outs via strikeout and fanned the first Major League batter he faced, Marcus Semien, on a splitter. But he was tested in the second after allowing back-to-back singles to Matt Joyce and Stephen Piscotty and a three-run homer to Chapman on a hanging slider, which gave the A's a 3-2 lead.

"Obviously, nobody had really faced him before," Chapman said. "The first time you face a guy, you've kind of got to feel it out. But my plan was to kind of attack strikes. He looked like he was throwing strikes right away. We were trying to jump on the first good pitch we saw because we know he has a lot of good stuff to put guys away, so wanted to get a good pitch and try and jump on him early.

"Unfortunately, we weren't able to do that too much today. He had some good stuff."

Still, the mistake didn't faze Ohtani. He rebounded by cruising through the next four innings, yielding only a one-out walk to Joyce in the fourth.

Video: OAK@LAA: Ohtani shows off nasty stuff in mound debut

"After that three-run shot, Scioscia came up to me and said I'm doing fine," Ohtani said. "Just a little bump from here on out. I was able to talk to Maldonado between each inning and try to communicate as much as we can. Obviously, the hitters got me the lead, so I was able to get through it."

Ohtani received plenty of support from his offense, which generated seven runs on 13 hits to give him his first win.

"I'm really happy for him," shortstop Andrelton Simmons said. "It's a good way to start. He still has a long ways to go, so I hope he doesn't ease up and stays hungry."

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Shohei Ohtani

Ohtani has Maeda in his corner as OD nears

Fellow Japan native eager to see Angels' two-way player in action
Special to MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- If Angels newcomer Shohei Ohtani is able to overcome his shaky spring and have a solid first season in Southern California, fellow Japan native Kenta Maeda could be part of the reason.

The Dodgers' right-hander reached out with text messages once Ohtani signed with the Angels in early December, offering congratulations, encouragement and a resource on life in the Major Leagues and what to expect upon arrival in California.

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LOS ANGELES -- If Angels newcomer Shohei Ohtani is able to overcome his shaky spring and have a solid first season in Southern California, fellow Japan native Kenta Maeda could be part of the reason.

The Dodgers' right-hander reached out with text messages once Ohtani signed with the Angels in early December, offering congratulations, encouragement and a resource on life in the Major Leagues and what to expect upon arrival in California.

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Although both the Angels and Dodgers called Arizona home for Spring Training, Maeda and Ohtani did not say hello to each other in person until Sunday evening at Angel Stadium. The players exchanged quick pleasantries before Maeda retreated to the Dodgers' clubhouse to prepare for his final spring start.

"Definitely as a fellow Japanese player, he's a really good pitcher and obviously a really good hitter, so I'm really looking forward to seeing that," Maeda said through an interpreter.

Like Ohtani, Maeda was a top pitcher in Japan before coming to the United States. But the Angels' right-hander is even more highly regarded for his mound presence. This spring was anything but smooth, though.

Ohtani had a 27.00 ERA in two Cactus League starts and made other appearances in Minor League or intrasquad games. The Angels sounded pleased with Ohtani's efforts in an 85-pitch intrasquad game Saturday. When he makes his first start remains to be seen.

Video: Eppler on Angels seeing impact tools on Ohtani

Offensively, Ohtani was 3-for-28 (.107) at the plate, before going 1-for-4 as the designated hitter in Monday night's 4-1 win over the Dodgers. He singled to left field against starter Rich Hill in the fourth inning.

"I'm sure he will be fine," Maeda said. "He will make the adjustments he needs and he will be OK."

One of those early adjustments came Monday when Ohtani used a toe tap while batting and landed his front foot a little earlier on his swing to help his timing.

"Even in my days in Japan I tried to make small adjustments throughout the season," Ohtani said after the game through an interpreter. "That's what I'm doing right now, trying to find out the best way to find my timing."

Video: LAA@LAD: Ohtani leads off the 4th with a single

Heaney making progress
Left-hander Andrew Heaney (elbow inflammation) will begin throwing from 120 feet Tuesday as he continues to progress from his injury. He will also throw from a mound, although not at full speed.

"[Tuesday's) bullpen, while it won't be full [speed], it will me more of getting out there and getting used to the hill again," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Every time he goes out there, it gives us more information about where he is, so we'll keep our fingers crossed."

The Angels believe that Heaney could return at some point in April.

Bring on the A's
Right-hander Matt Shoemaker showed he is ready for the regular season, giving up just two hits over four scoreless innings Monday night with five strikeouts and one walk. Shoemaker is expected to make his regular-season debut this weekend at Oakland, although Scioscia has not made his starting assignments official beyond the first two games.

Video: LAA@LAD: Shoemaker whiffs five over four innings

Earlier Monday, Scioscia said that right-hander Garrett Richards will be his Opening Day starter Thursday against the A's, while left-hander Tyler Skaggs will pitch in the second game.

Glove work
The Angels might have to utilize Albert Pujols' glove at first base more than in the recent past, but that doesn't mean that defense is being overlooked. Case in point was the second inning Monday.

The Dodgers' Cody Bellinger ripped an extra-base hit to right field and began to flash his speed. But right fielder Kole Calhoun hit shortstop Andrelton Simmons with the throw and the relay was a perfect strike to third baseman Jefry Marte to retire Bellinger after a head-first dive.

"Right now, we're happy with our defensive club and we think it will be important for us and our pitchers," Scioscia said. "As the season goes on, you'll see it really becoming a big part of us holding leads and winning games."

Video: LAA@LAD: Calhoun, Simmons team up to nab Bellinger

Up next
Right-hander JC Ramirez will take the mound for the Angels against Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu in the final exhibition game for both teams. First pitch from Dodger Stadium is 7:10 p.m. PT. The game will be available on MLB.TV.

Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com.

Los Angeles Angels, Shohei Ohtani

The latest on Ohtani's roster status

MLB.com

It remains to be seen how the Angels will deploy Shohei Ohtani once the regular season begins, but a report emerged Wednesday indicating the two-way Japanese star will start at designated hitter for the club's Opening Day matchup against the A's and make his pitching debut two days later on March 31.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler denied the report.

It remains to be seen how the Angels will deploy Shohei Ohtani once the regular season begins, but a report emerged Wednesday indicating the two-way Japanese star will start at designated hitter for the club's Opening Day matchup against the A's and make his pitching debut two days later on March 31.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler denied the report.

"That is incorrect," Eppler told MLB.com's Maria Guardado. "We have not laid out plans for anyone at this time."

The Halos have yet to commit to Ohtani, one of the offseason's most coveted free agents, making the Opening Day roster. Though that remains to be the expectation, it seemed like a certainty heading into Spring Training, but he's struggled thus far.

Could Ohtani start in the Minors?

Video: Chatting Cage: Eppler on Ohtani buzz around clubhouse

At the plate, Ohtani is batting .107 (3-for-28) in 12 Cactus League games. All three of his hits have been singles. On the mound, Ohtani's performance has been marked by inconsistency. In his last outing, Friday against the Rockies, he was expected to throw 75 pitches over four or five innings, but instead was tagged for seven runs and needed 50 pitches to record four outs. Including Minor League starts, Ohtani has given up 17 runs (15 earned) on 18 hits over 8 1/3 innings (16.20 ERA) in his four appearances on the mound this spring.

"We're not going to get into roster decisions," Scioscia said before Ohtani's last outing. "I can only say that Shohei's talent is real. Obviously we believe in it. We anticipate him being ready to both pitch and hit when the season starts. And we're going to work hard to reach that goal from now until we start the season. That's what we're going to focus on."

The Angels were off Wednesday, and Ohtani is scheduled for a bullpen session Thursday prior to his next start Saturday. He won't bat in a game again until, at the earliest, Monday against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Angels

Ohtani 'getting better' with the bat

Two-way rookie picks up third spring hit Tuesday
MLB.com

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Shohei Ohtani snapped an 0-for-14 stretch in Cactus League play by singling off Minor League left-hander Colin Poche in the sixth inning of the Angels' 6-5 win over the D-backs on Tuesday at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

It marked Ohtani's first hit in a Major League exhibition game since March 11 against the Rangers. After his 1-for-4 showing Tuesday, the left-handed hitter is now 3-for-28 (.107) in 12 Cactus League games this spring. All three of Ohtani's hits this spring have been singles.

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Shohei Ohtani snapped an 0-for-14 stretch in Cactus League play by singling off Minor League left-hander Colin Poche in the sixth inning of the Angels' 6-5 win over the D-backs on Tuesday at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

It marked Ohtani's first hit in a Major League exhibition game since March 11 against the Rangers. After his 1-for-4 showing Tuesday, the left-handed hitter is now 3-for-28 (.107) in 12 Cactus League games this spring. All three of Ohtani's hits this spring have been singles.

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Ohtani grounded out to second base in his first two at-bats against D-backs left-hander Robbie Ray before flaring a 2-2 pitch from Poche to left-center field in the sixth. Ohtani's final at-bat came in the eighth against Minor League right-hander Keegan Long, who induced another groundout to second.

"They're getting better," manager Mike Scioscia said of Ohtani's at-bats. "I think sometimes as a left-handed hitter, it's good to see the lefties, and that's what we're looking for. You've got to stay on the ball a little bit longer. He did on his base hit. I thought he had some good swings, so we'll keep going."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Following Wednesday's off-day, Ohtani is scheduled to throw a bullpen Thursday in preparation for his next start on the mound Saturday. Scioscia said Ohtani will not hit in a game Thursday, so the earliest he could return to the lineup would be Monday against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.

Heaney not concerned by inflamed elbow

Andrew Heaney, who will miss his next scheduled start due to left elbow inflammation, was back in the Angels' clubhouse Tuesday morning after making a brief trip to Southern California to be examined by team doctors. Heaney said he isn't concerned about the setback and feels that his condition is already improving after taking anti-inflammatory medication.

"I feel really good," said Heaney, who underwent Tommy John surgery in July 2016. "I'd rather it not be a thing, but I feel good about it."

Heaney, who had allowed six earned runs while walking two and striking out 14 over 11 2/3 innings (4.63 ERA) in four Cactus League outings this spring, will be shut down from throwing until the inflammation in his surgically repaired elbow subsides. The Angels have not put a timetable on when the 26-year-old could return to the mound.

"We're fortunate enough to be a part of an organization that really cares about players' health," Heaney said. "They are extremely cautious and careful when it comes to getting correct diagnoses. Sometimes I might feel better than what it seems like they are trying to look for, but it's always better to be more cautious than to say you're all right."

Video: CLE@LAA: Heaney strikes out Zimmer in the 1st

Camp battle

Parker Bridwell blanked the D-backs through the first five innings of his start Tuesday before surrendering three runs in the sixth on a leadoff homer by A.J. Pollock and a two-run shot by Steven Souza Jr. Bridwell departed after giving up three runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out five over 5 2/3 innings.

"Parker was great," Scioscia said. "I think early on, his ability to get to both sides of the plate and change speeds -- he had a good breaking ball -- was impressive. The third time around, he might have gotten a little tired. They've got some pretty good hitters there, and he missed a couple spots."

Video: ARI@LAA: Bridwell gets Goldschmidt swinging in 1st

With Heaney likely to open the season on the disabled list, the door could be open for Bridwell or Nick Tropeano to crack the Angels' rotation. Tropeano had appeared to have the edge entering Tuesday, but Bridwell made a push for the spot with his performance against the D-backs.

"I came in here thinking I had to earn an opportunity off the bat," Bridwell said. "That's just the kind of guy I am. I don't want to come in here thinking I'm locked in just because Heaney went down. He's not done. He's got a little inflammation. He's a resilient guy, and he'll be back in no time. I wish [good] health upon everybody on this team and every other team, but if the opportunity arises for me, then I'll take the ball when they give it to me and do my best."

Pujols takes extra reps

For the second time in three days, Albert Pujols opted to play in a Minor League game to accrue extra at-bats. Pujols, who finished 0-for-2 with two sacrifice flies and a strikeout Tuesday, is batting .278 (10-for-36) with seven RBIs in 14 Major League exhibition games this spring.

"He's feeling more comfortable in the box and wants to keep pushing that forward," Scioscia said.

Video: SEA@LAA: Pujols laughs after poking single past shift

Shoemaker's day

Matt Shoemaker started a Minor League game Tuesday, allowing one run on four hits while walking two and striking out four over six innings. The Angels have been having most of their starters pitch in Minor League games this rotation turn to make sure they get up to the pitch count they need for the start of the season.

Up next: The Angels will enjoy an off-day Wednesday before returning to Cactus League action Thursday against the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch. Jaime Barria, who is ranked the Angels' No. 7 prospect by MLB Pipeline, is scheduled to start for the Halos. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PT, and the game can be viewed on MLB.TV.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Shohei Ohtani