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Prospect Jones shifting to second base

Heaney feels 'fresh' after pitching in intrasquad game
MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- The Angels are moving Jahmai Jones, the club's No. 4 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, from outfield to second base, effective immediately. Jones will open the 2018 season with the Angels' Class-A Advanced affiliate, the Inland Empire 66ers, and is also the No. 93 prospect in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline's rankings.

"The strength of his profile tools and his history of playing there in high school give us confidence that he can handle the transition," general manager Billy Eppler said Monday.

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ANAHEIM -- The Angels are moving Jahmai Jones, the club's No. 4 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, from outfield to second base, effective immediately. Jones will open the 2018 season with the Angels' Class-A Advanced affiliate, the Inland Empire 66ers, and is also the No. 93 prospect in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline's rankings.

"The strength of his profile tools and his history of playing there in high school give us confidence that he can handle the transition," general manager Billy Eppler said Monday.

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Jones, 20, hit .302/.368/.488 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in 191 plate appearances with Inland Empire last season after a late July promotion from Class A Burlington. He was the Angels' second-round Draft pick in 2015.

Tweet from @jamjones7: Spring training comes to a close!!!! New season and new adventures!!! #secondbase #backtotheDirt

Heaney update

Andrew Heaney will have a second rehab assignment Friday, when he will throw 80 to 90 pitches in a Minor League game, putting him on track to return from the left elbow inflammation that has kept him out thus far this season. His first assignment, in an intrasquad game Sunday, yielded 69 pitches and an optimistic assessment from both Heaney and Eppler.

"I felt really good," Heaney said Monday. "After the game and today, it didn't really feel like I pitched. I felt that fresh."

In Heaney's absence, the Angels have opted for a traditional five-man rotation in lieu of their originally planned six-man rotation. Whenever Heaney ends up returning from injury, expect the Angels to return to their six-man plan.

Cozart excited for home opener

As much as Zack Cozart may want to believe -- and as much as other players use -- the cliche that Monday's home opener is "just another game," it isn't for Cozart, who made his Angels debut at Angel Stadium on Monday night.

"For me personally, it'll be a little more special just because it's my first time here in Anaheim," Cozart said before the game. "I think guys try to take it one game at a time and not put too much pressure on one night, because we play so many games, but it's definitely a special moment. You only get one Opening Night, so you want it to be special."

Worth noting

• Though the Angels have not officially announced when Shohei Ohtani's next start on the mound will be, he has not pitched a game on fewer than six days' rest this year, so his next outing is unlikely to come before Sunday.

"There's no doubt that you have to be mindful that Shohei has a lot on his plate and we certainly want him to rebound as much as he can every time he pitches," manager Mike Scioscia said.

Scioscia again commended Ohtani's performance in Oakland on Sunday.

"Shohei gave us a chance to win and that's what we're asking from our starting rotation," Scioscia said. "It's just a great tribute to his poise. He gave up some runs, but he knuckled down and gave us some strong innings."

• The Angels' Minor League affiliates announced their initial rosters Monday, revealing where many of the organization's top prospects will begin the 2018 season.

Right-hander Jaime Barria, who is ranked the club's No. 7 prospect by MLB Pipeline, and outfielder Michael Hermosillo (No. 10) are listed on the Triple-A Salt Lake roster, while first baseman Matt Thaiss (No. 9) will break with Double-A Mobile. Inland Empire's roster will include Jones and right-hander Griffin Canning (No. 8). Outfielders Jo Adell (No. 2) and Brandon Marsh (No. 5) will open with Burlington.

Avery Yang is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim.

Los Angeles Angels, Zack Cozart, Andrew Heaney, Jahmai Jones