03/01/11 3:30 PM ET
Speedster Bourjos refining bunting skills
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
The Angels' young center fielder can fly. He probably won't be leading off much this season, but it's in his future. Mastering the fine art of bunting is on Bourjos' list of goals, and that is more than fine with his boss.
"That's something he has to have, and he is a good bunter," manager Mike Scioscia said, having watched Bourjos drop a bunt single to go with a double on Monday against Oakland.
2010 Spring Training - Los Angeles Angels
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Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info
"You need a third baseman to respect the fact you can bunt to limit his range. You're going to roll a lot of balls over to third that are going to be hits if he's drawn in. For a speed guy, if you can bunt, it's a huge weapon in the holes it can open up."
Bourjos too often found himself down in counts during his two-month stint with the Angels last year to take advantage of his blinding speed with bunts. That's something he plans to rectify.
"I really want to work on bunting, getting it down and deadening the ball," Bourjos said. "In the big leagues, I was struggling when I came up to get comfortable. I want to make it one of my goals to lay down a bunt now and then, to keep guys aware of it. If I can squeeze out an extra hit with it here and there, it's important."
To alleviate the pressure, Bourjos figures to open the season at the bottom of the order. He has shown he can hit -- and produce some power -- in the Minor Leagues. His six homers in 51 games with the Angels in August and September would project to about 20 over a full season.
Wood ready to bounce back from rough 2010
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Held back briefly by back stiffness, Brandon Wood was in the Angels' lineup at third base for the first time in Cactus League play on Tuesday against the Reds at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
"It'll be good to hit some live pitching," Wood said. "Time to work out the kinks."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he feels Wood, long regarded as one of the game's premier prospects, has the ability to be a much better hitter than he showed in 2010, when he batted .146 in 226 at-bats, losing the job at third base in the process.
"Woody's worked hard this winter," Scioscia said. "He was set back a little with his back and is ready to play a game. Brandon needs to prove to himself that he's made adjustments and can make adjustments from his experience last year and be a Major League player.
"I think a lot of it is confidence. It's tough to get confidence when you hit .146. I want him to mature as a ballplayer. That experience was very, very difficult for him and for all of us. It definitely was not scripted that way. It's frustrating when a player has talent and does what Brandon did. This Spring Training is going to be about him hopefully attacking Major League pitching and showing what he has, stepping up to reach his potential."
Bulger healthy again, ready to contribute
TEMPE, Ariz. -- After an injury-marred 2010 season, Jason Bulger is determined to get back in the Angels' bullpen mix and show that he can be a reliable arm in whatever role emerges.
Bulger made his spring debut on Monday in a save situation against the Athletics and got the out that wrapped up a one-run victory.
"We're seeing some strides with Bulg," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He has an electric arm when he's feeling good. Last year he had some issues with his health, and we're seeing him get back on track."
Bulger, whose mid-90s fastball is complemented by a big breaking ball, was limited by shoulder issues to 25 appearances and a 4.88 ERA in 2010. The 6-foot-4 right-hander was the club's most durable reliever in 2009, appearing in 64 games with a 6-1 record and 3.56 ERA.
"I'm full go," Bulger said, "letting it go. I'm not having any problems. I hurt the shoulder at the end of May, came back to pitch the last month and then took a month off. I did my exercises and started throwing again, and I'm feeling great.
"I think I can do even better than . Towards the end of that season, I was starting to pitch to my potential. There's a lot of competition here, a lot of great arms. But I feel good if I can pitch to my ability."
Rehab on hold with Morales under the weather
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Kendry Morales is running a temperature in triple digits and was not in uniform on Tuesday. The Angels' first baseman is coming back from lower left leg surgery and is unsure if he'll be running well enough by Opening Day to be cleared to play.
"If he can get a little work it, it won't set us back too far," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "If you miss a week or 10 days, it's going to be a different issue. Two days is not an issue."
Mark Trumbo has been playing first base in Morales' absence. Morales has been taking ground balls and batting practice, and is up to 80 percent of his body weight on a treadmill.
Free-agent acquisition Hisanori Takahashi, who had a setback with back stiffness, was set to throw live batting practice on Tuesday.
"Hisanori knows what he needs to do to be ready," Scioscia said of the veteran left-hander who excelled in multiple roles last year for the Mets.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.