Notes: Bundy stays strong; prospect 'wows'

March 14th, 2021

It’s only Spring Training, but Angels right-hander has looked just as sharp as he did last season when he had a breakout year after being acquired in an offseason trade with the Orioles.

Bundy threw 4 2/3 scoreless innings during Sunday's 1-1 tie against the Cubs, allowing two hits and a walk with two strikeouts. He’s yet to allow a run in Cactus League play in 6 2/3 innings, as his last outing came in a "B" game against the Brewers on Monday. Bundy, 28, is coming off a strong season that saw him go 6-3 with a 3.29 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 65 2/3 innings over 11 starts.

"The No. 1 thing is your health and how your body feels and overall. I felt really good today," Bundy said. "The whole body. That's really important going forward, and I was happy getting early contact. And getting up five times today was pretty important for me."

Bundy was scheduled to throw four innings, but he was so efficient that he came back out for the fifth. After a leadoff single, he induced a ground-ball double play on his 49th pitch of the afternoon. Bundy faced a lineup full of Cubs regulars, which was also an encouraging sign, as they had trouble with his offspeed stuff, especially his split-changeup.

“I’ve been working on that split-changeup a little bit more this spring,” Bundy said. “Now it’s about refining that slider and curveball a little bit. I was opening up and leaving them up in the zone or spiking them a little bit, so I’ll be working on those two going forward.”

Jackson enjoying big league camp
Shortstop , ranked as the club’s No. 5 prospect by MLB Pipeline, is in Major League camp with the Angels despite being only 20 and having played one full season in the Minors. Jackson, a second-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, excelled in the rookie-level Pioneer League in 2019, breaking the league record with 23 homers in 65 games.

Jackson’s bat has always been ahead of his glove, but he believes he can stick at shortstop, although many scouts believe he’ll eventually move to third base, or possibly even second.

“I always see myself as a shortstop, regardless of where they have me,” he said. “I believe that I can play shortstop. I’m always going to think that. I definitely have the glove for it. And I’m only getting better.”

Angels manager Joe Maddon has also been impressed by Jackson, but he noted Jackson still has a few things to work on, including cutting down his strikeouts. Jackson spent last year at the Angels' alternate training site and isn’t likely to make the Majors until 2023.

“You watch his batting practice and, wow, the ball comes off his bat different,” Maddon said. “He’s a shortstop, and he really is one. He’s the kind of guy you’d prefer to keep on the dirt than move to the outfield. He’s really competent there.”

Angels tidbits
• Two-way star 's next start on the mound will come next Sunday against the Padres after pitching last Saturday against the White Sox. Maddon said Ohtani felt great after his latest start and that he can tell that his confidence is continuing to grow.

• Outfielder Jo Adell suffered a knee contusion after running into the center-field wall attempting to make a catch in the second inning of Saturday's game. Adell participated in a light workout on Sunday that included batting practice, and he's considered day to day.

• Left-hander Andrew Heaney threw 60 pitches in an intrasquad game on Saturday. His next start is expected to come in a Cactus League game, and he’s on schedule to be fully stretched out to start the season.

• Reliever Aaron Slegers has been bothered by back spasms this spring, but he will pitch in a "B" game on Tuesday. Slegers is competing for a spot in the bullpen.