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Notes: Teheran not in camp; intrasquads are key

@RhettBollinger
July 4, 2020

ANAHEIM -- Angels manager Joe Maddon said Saturday he expects his starters to reach the 90-pitch mark by end of Summer Camp. Several pitchers, including Andrew Heaney, Matt Andriese and Dylan Bundy, already are throwing up to 55 pitches. Maddon, though, said that right-hander Julio Teheran isn’t in camp, and

ANAHEIM -- Angels manager Joe Maddon said Saturday he expects his starters to reach the 90-pitch mark by end of Summer Camp.

Several pitchers, including Andrew Heaney, Matt Andriese and Dylan Bundy, already are throwing up to 55 pitches.

Maddon, though, said that right-hander Julio Teheran isn’t in camp, and the manager couldn’t specify why. Teheran, signed to a one-year deal in the offseason, is slated to be a part of the rotation, but that could change if he’s not ready to join the club’s workouts.

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Angels pitchers have started throwing live bullpen sessions to get ready for the season, which is set to begin on July 23 or July 24. They’ll progress to throwing in intrasquad games on Tuesday, a day earlier than Maddon originally said on Friday.

“We’re trying to get a head start and get closer to that 100-pitch number,” Maddon said via Zoom. “They threw right around 50-55 pitches the other day and will get to around 70 next time, so they’ll get to that 90-range by the time we’re done. So I’m not too concerned about that right now.”

Maddon also gave a positive report on right-hander Griffin Canning, who received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right elbow in early March. Canning is healthy and is also expected to be part of the rotation.

“I like him a lot,” Maddon said. “I like the stuff a lot. I think he's a frontline Major League pitcher -- got a good head on his shoulders, good stuff. Little funk in the delivery that I think may be tough to pick him up. The guy's got a really bright future."

Position players getting ready
Maddon added that the position players also worked out plenty in advance of Summer Camp and that they’ll be ready to go by Opening Day. He said several players, including David Fletcher and Tommy La Stella, have been training at Angel Stadium for weeks and that he doesn’t expect any issues with readiness. All of the club’s core position players were at the official workouts at Angel Stadium this week, and Maddon said he’ll keep track of how they respond.

"Even like [Andrelton] Simmons looked great at shortstop yesterday, even though he's not been working that heavily or that much,” Maddon said. “I think you have to wait for guys to get through initial soreness, if guys have not been really getting after it. You'll know over the next couple of days where everybody is just based on soreness and what they are able to do their next time, like pitchers.”

Maddon said the intrasquad games will be key to getting players ready for the season. The B team training at Long Beach State’s Blair Field will serve as the competition each day at 1 p.m. PT, beginning on Tuesday at Angel Stadium.

“You'll start seeing guys rounding into shape a little bit more quickly,” Maddon said. “It's not like Spring Training a couple months ago. I think guys are actually closer to being ready than they may have been at that time. So I'd say the middle of next week we'll have a pretty good understanding of how people feel."

Angels tidbits
• Several Angels pitchers threw on Saturday, including Taylor Cole, Kyle Keller, Hoby Milner, José Quijada, Jose Suarez, Heaney and Andriese. Cole, Keller, Milner and Quijada are competing for a spot in the bullpen. Suarez remains in the mix as a starter.

• Maddon did his Zoom interview with reporters from his van parked near Long Beach State. Maddon decided to attend the workouts at Blair Field on Saturday, as he wanted to meet with the staff there and to see in person how the workouts looked.

• Maddon said it’s up to the players if they want to wear masks while working out, as the protocols state that players don’t have to wear them if they are outdoors and adhering to proper social distancing. Superstar Mike Trout is among those who is deciding to wear one while working out outdoors. His wife, Jessica, is pregnant and due next month.

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