03/08/2013 6:30 PM ET
Scioscia sits six regulars prior to storm
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The rain kept the Angels from playing their front-line players on Friday, robbing manager Mike Scioscia of his second chance to see Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols batting back-to-back. Scioscia changed his lineup due to the weather, sitting down six regulars.
Howie Kendrick, Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo and Peter Bourjos were also in the original lineup, and Scioscia knows he'll have plenty of chances to see his batting order click over the next few weeks. The Angels are especially interested to see how Hamilton, a free-agent signee, will mix in with the team.
Scioscia was asked before Friday's game whether he'll ask Hamilton -- who has never walked more than 64 times in a season -- to be less aggressive at the plate. And when he replied, he said that when you have a player as good as Hamilton, you pretty much have to let him do what he does.
"I think if you look at what you perceive as pluses or minuses for any player in baseball, the bottom line is going to be their body of work and what they do," said Scioscia. "His numbers are off the charts. I think he's in an elite group of hitters. Sometimes, there's going to be streaks involved.
"You wouldn't ask [former Angel] Vlad Guerrero to go out there and try to draw more walks. Some parts of a player, the same things that make them terrific occasionally make them vulnerable."
Hamilton, a career .304 hitter, is batting .500 (5-for-10) this spring, and the Angels are hoping to get Pujols on track in front of him. Pujols, a three-time National League Most Valuable Player Award winner, has played in just one spring game due to offseason surgery on his right knee and should be back in the mix Saturday.
"When you have Albert and Josh, it gives you an incredible middle that is hopefully going to give you a deep offensive look," said Scioscia. "I think [Josh is] going to fit right in with the way these guys run the bases, with the way these guys put themselves in scoring position. That's just part of our team."
Rain washes out tilt vs. D-backs in third inning
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The weather played havoc with the schedule for the Angels on Friday, chasing them inside for their morning workout and delaying the start of their game against Arizona by a half hour. The game finally started, but it was washed out during a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the third by a torrential downpour.
The weather even featured some hail on Friday afternoon, but manager Mike Scioscia was thrilled that the game got underway. Starter Joe Blanton threw three innings and got his work in, and Scioscia made sure that the D-backs got their own pitchers a chance to work before calling it quits.
"Believe me, we milked about every pitch we could out of today," said Scioscia, who later relayed that Blanton finished up his workday in the bullpen. "We got something accomplished."
The rain was bad enough in the morning that Scioscia was unsure if the Angels would get the game in, and he said that the alternative was for Blanton to throw a simulated game. The Angels had originally scheduled six of their regulars to play, but they pulled all of them two hours before game time.
Scioscia met with Arizona counterpart Kirk Gibson before the game, and they discussed which pitchers had to work and how much of the game they could get in. The top of the first went by without incident, but it started pouring in the bottom half and became heavier by the third inning.
"During the regular season, you would play through it," said Scioscia. "But it's something you don't really deal with in the spring. You very rarely have to except when some pitchers need some work. If it was a situation where he needed 90-to-100 pitches, it wouldn't have even been worth doing."
Moments after the players left the field, solid pieces of hail began coming down, instantly validating the decision to scrub the rest of the game. Kaleb Cowart, one of the Angels' best prospects, said he was inside once the hail started coming down and that the conditions weren't that bad on the field.
"It wasn't the best in the world. It got a little bad in the end in my last at-bat," said Cowart. "You've got to hang with them just like you do sometimes during the season. It was raining a little bit. It wasn't too bad. The wind was kind of cold, but that's part of the game. It got a little slippery, but not too bad."
• The Angels met with emissaries from the Major League Baseball Players' Association before Friday's game, a group that included former Blue Jays outfielder Jose Cruz Jr.
"You know you're getting old when you've played with part of the Players' Association," said outfielder Vernon Wells. "It's all come full circle now."
• The Angels assigned five players to the Minor League camp after Friday's game. Kaleb Cowart, Randal Grichuk, Taylor Lindsey, Eric Stamets and Alex Yarbrough will all be working out with the Minor Leaguers for the rest of the spring. The Angels now have 53 players at the big league camp.
• Fans who attended Friday's game can exchange their ticket for another home game at Tempe Diablo Stadium (subject to availability). If that option doesn't work for any reason, refunds will be available for up to 30 days following the conclusion of the current Cactus League schedule.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.