03/27/11 8:51 PM ET
Weaver tagged for third Opening Day start
By Quinn Roberts / Special to MLB.com
Making it through Spring Training without any physical issues, Weaver is ready to make his third Opening Day start.
After his final Spring Training start Saturday, in which he pitched 4 1/3 innings of one-run ball for the win, Weaver said he is "ready to go" for the opener.
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"It's a cool thing," Weaver said Saturday. "Obviously, I was able to do it [in 2008 and 2010]. I don't take it as being more special than being one of five [starters]. I don't build it up too much."
The righty this spring pitched 17 2/3 innings, tallying two wins, striking out 21 and walking only two.
In his two previous Opening Day starts, Weaver lost, 3-2, in 2008 at Minnesota and then beat the Twins, 6-3, last year.
"Jered has been here awhile and is the leader of the staff," right-hander Dan Haren said. "He has been an Angel from the beginning. He is the one we will turn to."
After Weaver, the rotation is set to be Haren, Ervin Santana and then Scott Kazmir.
With an off-day Wednesday and two at the beginning of April, the Angels can go with a four-man rotation until Joel Pineiro, who will begin the season on the disabled list, can return for the home opener April 8 against the Toronto Blue Jays.
"With the off-days, we will stay at a four-man rotation until Joel folds in," said Scioscia.
Even with Pineiro on the DL for the beginning of the season with muscle soreness in his back, Haren believes that the starting rotation can be dominant.
"We have a good staff and I am excited to get it going," Haren said. "It will be fun to watch Jered out there."
Scioscia says offense better than in 2010
ANAHEIM -- Even with Angels first baseman Kendrys Morales set to begin the regular season on the disabled list, Angels manager Mike Scioscia believes the team is better offensively this season than last.
"Even without Kendrys, our lineup is better," Scioscia said before Sunday's exhibition game against the Padres at Angel Stadium. "Hopefully, we will move forward and build on that."
Through the first 14 games of the spring, the Angels batted .258 with 57 runs scored and seven home runs. However, in the next 15 games, the team batted .298, raising its average to .280, with a total of 101 runs scored and 20 home runs.
Heating up for the Halos, Bobby Abreu had hit safely in seven of his last eight games entering Sunday, with three home runs and 11 RBIs, while Erick Aybar was batting .409 with six runs scored over his previous seven games. Even Jeff Mathis had been in on the action, hitting safely in seven of his last 10 games, batting .407 with six RBIs.
"For our offense to improve, it has to come from guys able to play having better seasons," Scioscia said. "We need to have more production from the catching and third base positions."
Hunter, Wells to return to face Dodgers
ANAHEIM -- A few days after outfielders Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells suffered injuries in Spring Training, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said both intend to play in Monday's exhibition against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
"Both seemed to feel pretty good and have the intention of playing tomorrow," Scioscia said Sunday, before the Angels played an exhibition game against the Padres at Angel Stadium.
Hunter and Wells both worked out before Sunday's game, feeling no discomfort.
Hunter aggravated his quad and was taken out of Thursday's game after the third inning, while Wells injured his left hamstring running to first base in Wednesday's game against the Giants.
Scioscia is also confident in the eventual return of first baseman Kendrys Morales, whose ankle continues to heal from surgery last season.
Morales will be evaluated Monday, hoping to begin baseball activity thereafter.
Morales began wearing orthotic inserts last week in both of his shoes to help with the soreness in his feet.
"Him being off it was the big thing and the inserts will help," Scioscia said. "He feels good, though."
Morales has not appeared in a Spring Training game and will open the season on the disabled list.
Quinn Roberts is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.