TEMPE, Ariz. -- Intra-squad games are a Spring Training staple, if nothing else, as a welcome break in the monotony between routine drills and the onset of exhibition play.Not for the Angels. For the first time in recent memory, the Angels are not staging any intra-squad games, possibly the only one of the 30 Major League teams to do so. "The timetable seems to be a little tighter," explained manager Mike Scioscia. "It feels more cramped from the first workout to the first Spring Training game. Also, [pitching coach Mike Butcher] is giving pitchers one extra day to rebound between starts, so that cuts into the timespan." Angels batterymates had their first workout on Feb. 14, but the full squad did not join in until last Saturday. They open Cactus League play on Saturday, against the Dodgers. "Intra-squad games are as much for defensive positioning as they are for pitchers," said Scioscia, dismissing any effect of not having them. "We see enough of how people catch the ball and having them throw to the right base in our regular drills." What's next to go, PFP (pitchers fielding practice)?
Salmon gets his first look at prospect Trout
TEMPE, Ariz. -- After hearing from so many people that Mike Trout was reminiscent of him, Tim Salmon finally got to look in the mirror on Wednesday.Salmon, the former Angels outfield great in camp for a few days as a guest instructor, had his first bonding session with Trout, the 19-year-old outfielder who is the consensus choice as the No. 1 prospect in baseball. "Everyone says he looks like me, so I wanted to see for myself, after all the hype," Salmon said. "I didn't remember him at all from Spring Training a year ago. "He's very athletic, obviously. I like him." There is a close-enough physical resemblance: Trout is two inches shorter but 15 pounds heavier than was Salmon (6-3, 200) in his playing days. In time, there may also be an accomplishment resemblance: Salmon (1993) still is the only Rookie of the Year in the Angels' 50-year history. At the conclusion of the day's regular three-hour workout, Salmon took time to oversee a special throwing drill in right-center field of Tempe Diablo Stadium for a very small class -- Trout, and fellow non-roster outfield prospect Travis Witherspoon. Balls were rolled to the edge of the warning track, simulating drives into the gap, and Trout and Witherspoon took turns picking them up and turning to throw to a cutoff man, with Salmon critiquing and adjusting their footwork. The special attention -- whether from instructors or fans -- is just beginning for Trout. While Salmon wondered aloud what will become Trout's popular nickname -- "I'm Fish," Salmon said, invoking his own nickname -- a better question might be what would happen if the Angels teamed him with another outfielder in their system, Justin Bass, and also dealt for the Nationals' Roger "Shark" Bernadina? Then their entire outfield could be called the 'Fish Tank.'
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia wants to see how each of his pitchers goes through another regular 10-minute bullpen session, and how they bounce back physically, before announcing his pitching plans for Saturday's Cactus League opener against the Dodgers. ... Prior to Thursday's workouts, the Angels will hear the annual presentation of the Baseball Assistance Team. ... The girlfriend of Dutch pitching prospect Loek Van Mil lives about five minutes from the birthplace of Bert Blyleven, the Holland-born Hall of Fame right-hander.