PEORIA, Ariz. -- After his 2017 campaign was curtailed by shoulder and oblique injuries, Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs sought to become more pliable over the offseason. He began incorporating an extra 30 minutes of stretching before his workouts, focusing on his hamstring and hip flexibility, and emphasizing shoulder-strengthening exercises.So far,
PEORIA, Ariz. -- After his 2017 campaign was curtailed by shoulder and oblique injuries, Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs sought to become more pliable over the offseason. He began incorporating an extra 30 minutes of stretching before his workouts, focusing on his hamstring and hip flexibility, and emphasizing shoulder-strengthening exercises.
So far, Skaggs has been pleased with the early returns of his offseason regimen.
"I think you can see it in my mechanics," Skaggs said Monday after making his Cactus League debut in the Angels' 10-4 loss to the Padres at Peoria Sports Complex. "Everything is a lot smoother instead of spinning off every single pitch."
Skaggs pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on two hits while walking one and striking out two. The 26-year-old breezed through a perfect first inning, but he ran into some trouble in the second, surrendering a pair of long home runs to Hunter Renfroe and Christian Villanueva. Both homers were on two-seam fastballs.
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Still, Skaggs said he was happy with the outing, particularly since his four-seamer worked well in the first inning and his curveball looked sharp.
"At this time last year, I was talking to you guys, and I had to be set back because of a shoulder injury," said Skaggs, who logged a 4.55 ERA in 16 starts for the Angels in 2017. "Today, I felt as strong as I possibly could be. Things are looking up."
Andrew Bailey, who pitched for the A's, Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies and Angels over parts of eight seasons in the Majors, announced his retirement on Monday, adding that he will be joining the Angels' Major League coaching staff. Bailey captured the 2009 American League Rookie of the Year Award with Oakland but later saw his career derailed by shoulder trouble. The 33-year-old reliever appeared in only four games for the Angels in 2017 because of injury.
Bailey released this statement via Instagram:
"Thank you to the A's, Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies and Angels organizations for believing in me, allowing me the opportunity to play the game and realizing my childhood dream," Bailey wrote in an Instagram post. "Thank you to all of my incredible teammates along the way who helped me and inspired me. Thank you to the coaches and coordinators who pushed me and taught me the game. Thank you to the countless athletic trainers, PT's, strength coaches, surgeons and therapists who helped me through a long list of injuries. Thank you to the fans for always cheering and demanding the best out of me. Thank you to my wife @ladybailey37 and family for the unwavering support over the last 12 years! I am looking forward to new challenges, new memories and hopefully many championships as I am excited to announce I will be joining the Los Angeles Angels MLB staff."
Right-hander Jaime Barria, the Angels' No. 7 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, also made his first appearance of the spring on Monday. Barria pitched 1 1/3 innings, yielding three runs on five hits, including an inside-the-park home run to Franchy Cordero. Barria will likely open the season at Triple-A Salt Lake, but he is expected to contribute to the Angels' rotation at some point this year.
Infielder Kaleb Cowart, who is likely in the mix for the final bench spot with the Angels, started at third base and finished 2-for-3 against the Padres. He also committed a throwing error. Nolan Fontana and Colin Walsh, two other candidates for the reserve infielder job, each went 0-for-2 on Monday.
Some of the Angels' starters will make their second outings on the normal four days' rest while others will do so on five days' rest. Parker Bridwell, for example, is slated to pitch on normal rest on Wednesday, after Andrew Heaney makes his Cactus League debut. Nick Tropeano will pitch after JC Ramirez on Thursday with an extra day of rest.
"There's a template, and we're going to be flexible to it," manager Mike Scioscia said. "So there's a lot of things that are still going to go into that."
Right-hander Matthew Shoemaker will make his Cactus League debut on Tuesday, when the Angels head to Scottsdale to face the Rockies. First pitch is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. PT.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.
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