TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels open their Cactus League season Saturday against the Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium with this theme elucidated by veteran manager Mike Scioscia:"We have a lot of work to do," he said as his team took the field to work out after a lengthy clubhouse meeting
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels open their Cactus League season Saturday against the Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium with this theme elucidated by veteran manager Mike Scioscia:
"We have a lot of work to do," he said as his team took the field to work out after a lengthy clubhouse meeting Friday morning.
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The Angels lost 88 games last season, Scioscia's 17th as a manager, all with the Angels. And the team taking the field Saturday (12:10 p.m. PT on Gameday Audio) will bear little resemblance to the one Scioscia expects to open the regular season April 3 against the A's in Oakland.
There will be no Michael Trout, no Jose Pujols and not one of the starters who could be anticipated to comprise the five-man rotation.
Pujols is recovering from offseason surgery to repair plantar fasciitis in his right foot and is running on a non-weight-bearing treadmill. Depite the injury, Pujols hit 31 homers and knocked in 119 runs last season. He's nine homers away from becoming the ninth player to reach the 600-homer plateau.
"Albert's still working his way back from the offseason surgery, but he's getting to where he should be," Scioscia said. "He'll eventually be in there, but a little bit behind the other guys."
Trout, the reigning American League MVP, is on his own prescribed timetable and Scioscia said he's not ready to unveil any of his starters.
Non-roster right-hander Yusmeiro Petit is slated to start Saturday against the Brewers, non-roster right-hander Deolis Guerra is scheduled to go against the A's Sunday at HoHoKam Park, non-roster veteran righty Bud Norris gets the call Monday here vs. the Padres and right-hander JC Ramirez starts Tuesday when the Angels visit the Cubs.
Meanwhile, projected starters Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, Matthew Shoemaker, Andrew Heaney, Jesse Chavez and Ricky Nolasco will wait their turns.
Jered Weaver is gone as a free agent to the Padres and Christopher Wilson into retirement.
"We're confident we have the depth that's going to give us a championship-caliber rotation," Scioscia said. "But we don't know exactly what those names are going to be or in what order they will pitch. That remains to be seen. But we're excited with the depth that we have. And we're excited with our defensive team that should be excellent and have a positive effect on all our pitching, especially our starters."
The Cactus League schedule will provide a sketch book on how the Angels will get there. And the pages begin to turn Saturday.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter.