3/9/2014 9:07 P.M. ET
Richards fades after strong start to second outing
By Chris Gabel / Special to MLB.com
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Garrett Richards' second spring start Saturday didn't go as planned -- he gave up five runs in four innings to the D-backs -- but there were positives to take away from the appearance.
For instance, the right-hander struck out Paul Goldschmidt, the 2013 runner-up for National League MVP, in the first inning. The at-bat stood out to manager Mike Scioscia.
"The first 20 pitches he threw were incredible," Scioscia said. "He just lost his rhythm out of the stretch. He was trying to find it and fell behind some hitters, forced some things. He threw some off-speed stuff just to feel his changeup, and those guys hit him pretty hard. ... It's in there, he just let some things get away from him as his outing got a little longer."
Richards has a rotation spot locked up after posting a 3.72 ERA over his final 13 starts last season.
Richards, 25, said afterward that he was not concerned about the outing.
Offense going slow through early March
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels started Cactus League play with a promising 15-hit, 15-run performance against the Cubs on Feb. 28. But they've had trouble repeating that output in 10 games this month.
With multiple cold bats among the projected regulars, the Angels managed just 30 runs in March through Sunday.
"We opened up like gangbusters in that first game," manager Mike Scioscia said. "I don't anticipate these guys needing many more at-bats before they get into their games. We haven't really driven the ball the way we can, but that will take a little bit of time."
Scioscia doesn't sound concerned with plenty of games left on the spring schedule. The Angels are three weeks from Opening Day in Anaheim.
Howie Kendrick, Chris Iannetta and Mike Trout each are hitting better than .400, but they are the only projected regulars hitting better than .250.
Kole Calhoun (.227), Raul Ibanez (.200), Albert Pujols (.158), Erick Aybar (.154), Hank Conger (.133) and David Freese (.091) have yet to find their swing.
Scioscia said he will get his players the spring at-bats needed to be ready for the regular season.
"Whatever they need. Everybody is different," he said. "With some guys, there is a range that they need to still be fresh and ready to go. With other guys, they need a little more. It just depends."
Among those looking to secure a bench spot, John McDonald (.444), Grant Green (.412), Collin Cowgill (.316) and Andrew Romine (.286) have fared well.
That Kendrick is among those already hot should not be a surprise. The second baseman owned a .410 Cactus League average since 2006 coming into this year.
Freese rests foot blister; De La Rosa sidelined
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Angels third baseman David Freese was held out Sunday with a blood blister on the bottom of his foot. Freese didn't play Saturday either, though that was a scheduled day off, manager Mike Scioscia said.
"He should be good to go [Monday]," Scioscia said. "It was sore yesterday but much better today. We'll give him one more day to get over it."
As for reliever Dane De La Rosa, who was scheduled to pitch Sunday before he was diagnosed with a forearm strain on Friday, Scioscia said there is no timetable for the big right-hander.
"He feels better," Scioscia said. "There's no projection when he's going to pick up a baseball, but he does definitely feel much better. Calming it down is the first course of action."
• Left-handed reliever Robert Carson and catcher John Hester cleared waivers and were outrighted off the 40-man roster to Triple-A Salt Lake.
Chris Gabel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.