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Halos' split-squad openers rained out

@RhettBollinger
February 22, 2020

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels saw both of their Cactus League openers rained out on Saturday, as they were scheduled to host the Royals at Tempe Diablo Stadium and face the White Sox at Camelback Ranch. The Angels will now host the Royals as part of split-squad action on Friday,

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels saw both of their Cactus League openers rained out on Saturday, as they were scheduled to host the Royals at Tempe Diablo Stadium and face the White Sox at Camelback Ranch. The Angels will now host the Royals as part of split-squad action on Friday, March 6 at 1:10 p.m., while their game against the White Sox was canceled.

Right-hander Matt Ball was scheduled to start at home, while right-hander Jake Thompson was slated to start on the road. Neither pitcher is on the 40-man roster and are both long shots to make the roster, which made the decision easier. Right-hander Jaime Barria is now scheduled to take the mound on Sunday against the Rockies.

The last Angels Cactus League rainout came on March 8, 2013, against the D-backs -- when the game was called in the third inning with the score tied, 1-1. The last time they had a Cactus League game postponed prior to first pitch was March 7, 2010, vs. the A’s.

“It’s Feb. 22 and really you shouldn’t push folks on the 22nd of February,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “The worst thing that could happen today would be somebody [getting] hurt. I know it’s a split [squad] and everyone is eager to get going -- and so am I. But under these circumstances, it’s the kind of game where maybe you wait it out if it’s later in the year. But, right now, I don’t know that’s it really prudent.”

The Angels weren't scheduled to play many regulars on Saturday, either, as the lineup at home included players such as Tommy La Stella, David Fletcher and Brian Goodwin, while the road lineup featured top prospects Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh. Maddon said La Stella, Goodwin and Michael Hermosillo will be in Sunday's lineup against Colorado.

The Angels, though, were scheduled to wear Orange Coast College hats on Sunday as a tribute for coach John Altobelli, who died in the helicopter crash that also claimed the lives of eight others, including his wife Keri and his daughter Alyssa -- as well as legendary basketball star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.

The Angels are now expected to wear those hats on Tuesday against the Reds, which is when most of their regulars are scheduled to play, including Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Albert Pujols, Andrelton Simmons and Justin Upton.

"I think wearing these hats is great," Maddon said. "I think it's really well done. It's awful what happened and why we have to wear this, but I'm all for it. I think it's important that they know how much we care and support them. You need support in these moments. We've all lost family members, and when others show [support], it matters a lot. So that's what we need to do, right now.”

Fans with tickets to Saturday's game can exchange their tickets for the make-up game on March 6, while tickets purchased at Tempe Diablo Stadium can be exchanged at the box office for tickets to another 2020 Angels Spring Training home game. Customers who purchased from the Angels over the phone or online can call 714-4ANGELS to exchange or refund to the credit card used for purchase. Customers who purchased tickets from any other channels should return to their original point of purchase. Ticket package purchasers, including group leaders and season seat holders will be contacted by their Angels representative, while complimentary and donation tickets have no value and can’t be exchanged or refunded.

Angels tidbits
• Reliever Ty Buttrey, who has been sidelined by an intercostal strain, is tentatively scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Thursday. He's expected to be ready for Opening Day.

• Third baseman Anthony Rendon remains away from the club to attend the birth of his child. Rendon was tentatively scheduled to return on Saturday, but Maddon said he hadn't heard yet when Rendon will be back.

• Another Angels alum was at camp on Saturday, as former reliever Shigetoshi Hasegawa visited with Maddon in his office. Hasegawa pitched with the Angels from 1997-2001, when Maddon was the bench coach.

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.