Notes: 'Balding' for charity; Vlad visits camp

March 9th, 2020

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Angels manager Joe Maddon held his inaugural “Balding All Angels” event in the parking lot at Tempe Diablo Stadium before their game against the Indians on Monday, raising money for Miller Children's & Women's Hospital in Long Beach, Calif.

The event saw several Angels players and coaches shave their heads while fans also had their heads shaved after making a donation to Maddon’s charity, Respect 90, with the proceeds going to help children with pediatric cancer. Among those who participated were Maddon; general manager Billy Eppler; coaches Mike Gallego, Mickey Callaway, Matt Wise, Marcel Lachemann and Jose Molina; and players Luke Bard, Cam Bedrosian, Tommy La Stella, David Fletcher, Mike Mayers, Kyle Keller and Parker Markel. Maddon began the event in 2012 while managing the Rays and brought it to the Cubs and now to the Angels’ organization. He said it’s raised more than $350,000 over the years.

"How much we raised is one thing, but the participation, that matters the most," Maddon said. "Always, it's about raising awareness, really creating more empathy among our civilization, so that we help others in need. This just happens to be cancer. It's pretty special. And so on an annual basis, it always blows me away. This is just our first attempt here and I promise it's going to continue to grow over the next several years.”

Maddon also recognized two young cancer patients -- Dominic, who had to take a year off from playing baseball after getting cancer in his leg, and Caleb, who has nerve cancer. Maddon went to dinner with them and their families on Sunday night and introduced them to the crowd before the event kicked off. They both also watched batting practice on the field and met several Angels players.

“The kids were great,” Maddon said. “Got to know their story a little bit and their families. That's what always stands out.”

Fletcher plays center field
The Angels have been working to increase ’s versatility and he replaced Mike Trout in center field against the Indians on Monday, marking the first time he’d ever played the position professionally. Fletcher said he didn’t think he had played it since Little League, but he’s been working in both corner outfield spots and Maddon said he can trust Fletcher to play anywhere on the diamond.

"He’s a great athlete," Maddon said. "I think he could do anything. I think he could catch. I think if you gave him a challenge, he'll figure it out. You don't want him there like 162 games probably. But you accept him all over the place in little jabs and spots."

Guerrero arrives at camp
Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero arrived at camp as a special instructor on Monday, joining former All-Star pitcher Clyde Wright. Maddon was excited to have Guerrero in camp to work with their hitters but said there was more to his game than just hitting.

“He was a really good baseball player,” Maddon said. “He was one of the best runners, great arm, among the best at advancing on a ball in the dirt and just a great presence. It's really important that the players understand who these guys are and what they've done in the past. I mean, players in general, not just in this sport, too many times don't understand what happened before them.”

Angels tidbits
• Reliever is dealing with back stiffness and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday. If all goes well, he'll return to Cactus League action this Friday against the Giants. He last pitched on Friday, giving up a run in one inning against the Royals.

• Outfield prospect is continuing to make progress with his left elbow strain he suffered on Feb. 23, as he participated in a live batting practice session on Monday. Marsh, ranked as the No. 79 prospect by MLB Pipeline, could return to Cactus League play later this week. He’s expected to open the year at Triple-A Salt Lake.