03/19/12 8:44 PM ET
Slow and steady, Morales on the move
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
But even though a broken left ankle has sidelined him since May 2010, and he was never really a burner on the basepaths to begin with, manager Mike Scioscia doesn't expect Morales to lose much of his original speed.
"I think it's just a comfort level of where he is," Scioscia said. "His times are not that far off from where he was a couple years ago. A little bit down, which is obviously something you would expect, but I think there's still upside."
Morales played in his third Minor League game in four days while the Angels played the Rockies at Talking Stick on Monday. The most positive sign from those contests came Saturday, when Morales singled, stayed on the bases, then scored from first on a triple with little problem and no pain.
The Angels aren't counting on Morales to play much first base now that Albert Pujols is on board.
But they do expect him to eventually run like he used to.
"You're seeing his stride lengthen to a normal gait, and I think as that happens, I think some of that quickness will pick up, and I think he's going to have to play himself into shape," Scioscia said. "He's a guy that has had to really work hard at the conditioning aspect, because it's tough to get conditioned when you can't work your lower body. ... The thing that's going to get him in shape now is playing, and I think that's when we'll see him start to move a little bit better."
The initial plan was for Morales to begin appearing in Cactus League games as a designated hitter on Tuesday, but an on-site report from the Orange County Register said Morales experienced some soreness in his right shin after going 0-for-3 against the Triple-A Cubs on Monday.
The Angels have a scheduled day off on Wednesday, so they may decide to sit Morales against the Royals so he has extra time to heal.
Santana shows no ill effects from line drive
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The initial hit looked scary, and it left a pretty nasty bruise on Ervin Santana's right shoulder. But ever since getting hit by a line drive on Wednesday, the Angels starter has stressed that his arm was fine.
On Monday, Santana proved it with four scoreless innings against the Rockies.
"The first day, when I got hit, I was really in pain, but the next day I was feeling better, and the next day better and better, and I just knew I'd be ready for my next start," said Santana, who used mostly his fastball-slider combination to strike out four, walk one and scatter a couple of singles.
"He threw a great bullpen, so we weren't surprised" that he came back so quickly from the shoulder bruise," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We were pleasantly surprised at his bullpen, but today he felt good and we felt he was going to be able to do it."
The Angels' four starters -- Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, C.J. Wilson and Santana -- have now posted a 2.12 ERA in 34 innings this spring.
Halos prospect Moore leaning toward surgery
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Angels prospect Jeremy Moore's bothersome hip hasn't recovered like he would've hoped, and now the likely scenario appears to be surgery that will put the Minor League outfielder out of action for an estimated 3-5 months.
But manager Mike Scioscia indicated Monday morning that nothing is set in stone, saying: "I don't think anything's been decided yet, but he's struggling with some things right now."
A speedy left-handed hitter who can handle all three outfield spots, Moore saw action in eight games with the Angels as a rookie last year and has produced a .277/.329/.473 slash line in seven seasons in the Minors. Moore was cleared to begin his running program early in camp, but hasn't been able to work himself into games and is leaning toward getting the procedure out of the way as soon as possible.
Moore says he wouldn't require hip-replacement surgery, but needs to take care of a bone spur, among other things.
"After talking with the staff and the doctors, we're definitely leaning towards it," said Moore, originally a sixth-round Draft pick by the Angels in 2005. "It sounds like the best thing to do at this point, for the long-term. ... What the doctors will tell you is that it's probably not going to get any better, due to what I have going on. We're just trying to get to a comfortable point where maybe I can handle it, but it just hasn't been coming along as quickly as we want it to."
Moore, 24, has been dealing with pain in his hip for the last couple of years, a problem doctors believe was caused through the rigors of being a four-sport high-school athlete in Louisiana.
The Angels have their outfield set, and also have Bobby Abreu as a reserve, so Moore would've begun the season once again at Triple-A Salt Lake, where he played 113 games last year.
"It's definitely disappointing," Moore said. "You come here every day and you put the work in, and you can't get over that final hump to get to where you need to be, it's definitely disappointing, especially this year. Feeding off the energy of the clubhouse -- and you have to sit here and not be a part of it -- is the most disappointing thing I've ever faced in my career."
Mark Trumbo (defense only), Mike Trout and Maicer Izturis also played in Minor League games while the rest of the Angels were in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Monday.
Right-handed reliever Bobby Cassevah, who has been recovering from a sore shoulder all spring, is expected to make his Cactus League debut "in the next couple of days," Scioscia said.
During the Angels' scheduled off-day on Wednesday, fifth-starter-candidate Garrett Richards will start in a Minor League game so he stays on schedule. Brad Mills, another candidate for the fifth spot, is also expected to pitch.
Catcher Bobby Wilson played in his first game since suffering tightness in his quads on March 10, going 1-for-2 with a walk.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.