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Angels accelerating GM search

SEATTLE -- The Angels' brass is ramping up its search for a general manager this week, conducting a multitude of face-to-face interviews along the East Coast.

Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler, considered by several people inside and outside the organization as a front-runner, met with owner Arte Moreno and president John Carpino on Monday night, according to a report by the New York Post. The Mariners also received permission to interview Eppler, the runner-up when the Angels hired Jerry Dipoto after the 2011 season.

The Angels are also interviewing Indians vice president of player personnel Ross Atkins, Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen and Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava, sources told on Tuesday, with other candidates possibly on the list.

Moreno and Carpino have also interviewed three internal candidates: assistant GMs Matt Klentak and Scott Servais, as well as director of pro scouting Hal Morris.

LaCava, 54, spent 10 years as a scout for the Angels, serving as a regional cross-checker from 1996-99, and has spent the last 13 seasons with the Blue Jays. Atkins, 42, was promoted to his current role last October after spending his previous eight years in charge of player development. Hazen, 39, was a finalist for GM jobs with the Padres and Dodgers and could also be in line to be Red Sox GM, under president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.

The Angels hope to have a new GM in place before the end of the regular season, if not shortly thereafter. Bill Stoneman, who stepped in on the interim when Dipoto resigned July 1, will not continue as GM.

Worth noting

• Matt Shoemaker (forearm strain) threw about 35 pitches in a two-inning simulated game from Safeco Field on Tuesday and feels ready to take his next turn, probably Sunday in Minnesota. But Shoemaker was told the real test will be how he feels the next day. "Hopefully it doesn't tighten up," Shoemaker said. "Hopefully it stays nice and loose [on Wednesday]."

• Utility man Grant Green strained his left Achilles tendon during workouts last week and is in Arizona, rehabbing and running bases. Angels manager Mike Scioscia expects him to join the team in Minnesota on Thursday. Even if Green is fully healthy, Taylor Featherston is expected to start over him.

• Second baseman Johnny Giavotella (fourth nerve palsy) took batting practice for the first time Tuesday. Scioscia said he's "still not quite as sharp with his vision, but it's much better. He's starting to hopefully pass that plateau and make a lot of progress." Giavotella would probably have to hit in at least one simulated game before being activated.

• Catcher Taylor Ward, the 26th overall pick in June, and shortstop Roberto Baldoquin, given an $8 million signing bonus in December, will take part in the Angels' instructional league, which begins Sept. 24. Their top prospect, left-hander Sean Newcomb, is not on the roster. The Angels are shutting him down after he threw 136 innings in his first pro season.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast.
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