TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels need their starting pitchers to be healthy and consistent if they are to contend for a postseason spot in 2017. That's why they brought in Jesse Chavez, and on Sunday afternoon, the right-hander gave them exactly what they're looking for in a 9-2 victory over
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels need their starting pitchers to be healthy and consistent if they are to contend for a postseason spot in 2017. That's why they brought in Jesse Chavez, and on Sunday afternoon, the right-hander gave them exactly what they're looking for in a 9-2 victory over the Mariners.
Chavez, the Angels' lone free-agent starting pitcher signee over the winter, continued his spring progression, going four innings for the first time, giving up two runs on four hits while striking out three.
"A second wind is something we all try to get during Spring Training," said Chavez, who had given up three runs on eight hits in his 4 1/3 Cactus League innings prior to Sunday. "It's what we build up for. The first couple outings we go back out two or three times we're not going to have our legs under us, but this is one of those days I felt my legs come back underneath me after the second inning, and they stayed in the third and fourth."
If Chavez can provide a stable presence in the No. 5 spot in the rotation behind projected top four Garrett Richards, Matthew Shoemaker, Ricky Nolasco and Tyler Skaggs, it would be huge for the Angels, whose best-laid plans for starting pitching in 2016 imploded because of myriad injuries before the season even got into full swing.
On Sunday, Chavez had a tuneup of 69 pitches, which was everything the Angels and manager Mike Scioscia wanted.
"He did a good job," Scioscia said. "He used the pitches he needs, and threw some good cutters and breaking balls. He pitched his game. He pitched well."
Skaggs update: Scioscia said left-hander Skaggs, who skipped a start because of shoulder weakness, came out of his Saturday bullpen session in good order and will likely throw another bullpen Monday in hopes of pitching in Wednesday's game against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium.
"He did well," Scioscia said, adding that Skaggs threw about 30 pitches Saturday.
Admiring Maldonado: Scioscia, a former All-Star catcher in a long Major League career, was asked for a word to describe new Angels backstop Martin Maldonado's impressive throwing arm.
"Cannon," Scioscia said. "His arm ranks with any of the best throwing catchers I've seen. His arm strength is tremendous."
• Shortstop Andrelton Simmons could be back from the World Baseball Classic a bit earlier than expected. If Simmons' Netherlands team loses to undefeated Israel in second-round play in Tokyo (game time is Monday at 6 a.m. EDT), the loss would deal a serious blow to the Netherlands' chances of moving on in the tournament.
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• Closer front-runner Cam Bedrosian looked good Sunday, striking out two batters and giving up a hit in a scoreless inning.
"Cam just feels great," Scioscia said. "Nice, easy, smooth … he had a great mix of his fastball and breaking ball working today. So, he'll just try to keep maintaining that during spring, and get his work in."
• Scioscia said utility man Cliff Pennington is day-to-day with shoulder stiffness, and has been playing catch. As for his return to game action, Scioscia said, "Hopefully, we're talking about days."
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.