Angels to skip starting rotation members until March
Williams, Mills will start Saturday's split-squad Cactus openers
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Jerome Williams (at home against the Cubs) and Brad Mills (in Scottsdale against the Giants) will start each of the split-squad games that will open the Angels' Cactus League schedule on Saturday.
Don't expect to see any of the five rotation members until March 1.
Jered Weaver won't start until next Friday's game against the Dodgers' split squad at Tempe Diablo Stadium. He'll be followed respectively by C.J. Wilson (in Maryvale against the Brewers), Joe Blanton (at home against the Cubs' split squad), Jason Vargas (in Phoenix against the A's) and Tommy Hanson (at home against the Reds).
Before that, it'll be Barry Enright starting on Sunday versus the A's, Garret Richards on Monday in Peoria against the Mariners, A.J. Schugel on Tuesday versus the D-backs' split squad and Nick Maronde on Wednesday vs. the Giants. Williams and Mills will then both pitch Thursday's game against the Dodgers in Glendale, before the normal rotation gets in the mix.
Starters figure to be at about two innings apiece the first time through. The extra week of camp, in response to the World Baseball Classic, has prompted manager Mike Scioscia to wait before getting in his starters and opt against playing any intrasquad games.
Asked if Weaver-Wilson-Blanton-Vargas-Hanson is how the rotation will line up during the regular season, Scioscia said: "I don't think we're looking quite to the season yet. I think we're looking to get through Spring Training and then see where people are at the end. We have some flexibility with the way [pitching coach Mike Butcher] has lined them up."
The Angels open the regular season with off days on Tuesday, April 2, and Monday, April 8, but Scioscia doesn't anticipate skipping a fifth starter the first turn through, like he did last season.
Williams figures to be the Angels' long reliever in 2013, while Enright and Mills -- if the latter clears waivers -- will be in the Triple-A rotation. Maronde, ranked second in the Angels' farm system by MLB.com, and Schugel, who is ranked 16th, could join them. Richards is a candidate for a bullpen spot.
Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo are expected to join Erick Aybar in games this first weekend.