3/28/2014 9:19 P.M. ET
Angels facing tough roster decisions
By Earl Bloom / Special to MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- The Angels took an 18-10 spring record into their penultimate exhibition on Friday against the Dodgers.
With final roster decisions due Saturday, the team faces some especially tough cuts this year because of the abundance of positive contributors in camp.
"We have a lot of guys having terrific springs," manager Mike Scioscia said Thursday, after the Angels extended their exhibition winning streak to nine with a 7-5 victory over the Dodgers. "There's going to be some disappointment for those not making the club. Everyone's putting their best foot forward.
"It's great for us as a club, but tough on individuals."
The Angels' five starting pitchers are healthy. Relievers Dane De La Rosa and Sean Burnett will open the regular season on the disabled list, but both might be able to join the club in April, Scioscia said, with De La Rosa (forearm) closer than Burnett (elbow).
Even with them out at the start, though, the manager said he is happy with his bullpen depth. New additions Joe Smith and Fernando Salas augment closer Ernesto Frieri, Kevin Jepsen, Michael Kohn, Cory Rasmus, all right-handers, and left-hander Nick Maronde (the lone lefty until Burnett is ready).
Veteran right-hander Brandon Lyon, a camp invitee with closing experience, is also in the mix.
But Scioscia said having a lefty in the 'pen is not mandatory, "not if I can have a bullpen of guys who can close out games. ... It doesn't matter if they're all right-handed."
Backup catcher Hank Conger and reserve shortstop John McDonald are the only locks among position players battling for bench roles. The Angels likely will be able to keep only two from a group consisting of infielders Ian Stewart and Grant Green and outfielders J.B. Shuck and Collin Cowgill. The last three finished 2013 with the club, and all are having great springs, as are outfielders Matt Long and Brennan Boesch.
"It's the first time in a while we've really looked at some tough cuts," Scioscia said.
Wilson proud of MLB's harsher PED penalties
LOS ANGELES -- Left-handed pitcher C.J. Wilson, the Angels' Major League Baseball Players Association representative, reacted strongly and positively Friday to MLB's enhanced drug-program agreement.
"I hope this is the padlock, and closes this chapter," Wilson said. "We don't want to keep going through this."
More testing is what the players decided was the best course, he said.
"We had a lot of of discussions in the meeting in San Diego in the offseason," Wilson said. "We had a hundred players in a room talking about it. The solution would be what's right for the game. The conclusion we came to is, the No. 1 deterrent is getting tested more often. Significantly."
The Angels' No. 2 starter said he believes "the game is significantly cleaner than it was 15 years ago" when he signed his first contract.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said: "I don't think everyone understands that this whole thing [the agreement] has been player-driven. It's an attempt to level the playing field."
Wilson said of PED use: "Guys do it for greed. They're not happy with the player they are. They want to do it and make themselves better.
"If there's always testing ... they're not going to feel like they're going to get away with it. ... I think you'd have to be really not good at risk evaluation at this point."
Wilson added that the penalty phase is also significant, in his opinion, especially "if you're a $10 million or $20 million player, and all of a sudden you're making zero dollars."
Trout sits penultimate spring game with the flu
LOS ANGELES -- Center fielder Mike Trout was not in the Angels' lineup against the Dodgers on Friday night because of the flu.
"He's just got a little stomach bug," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He won't be available tonight, hopefully tomorrow. It's been going through a lot of the guys.
"We'll see how he is tomorrow. You always want to keep your edge. We'll weigh these factors very carefully."
The Angels open the regular season on Monday in Anaheim against the Mariners.
Josh Hamilton moved from left field to center, with J.B. Shuck taking over in left. Second baseman Howie Kendrick took Trout's No. 2 spot in the batting order.
• Left-hander Tyler Skaggs will start Saturday against the Dodgers at Angel Stadium in the Angels' final tuneup.
• Scioscia on new No. 1 hitter Kole Calhoun, the right fielder who will open his first full big league season Monday: "Kole had a terrific spring. He's been very comfortable with the challenge.
"He had a great year in Triple-A, and I think he backed it up with a good half-year with us. He's an important piece, no doubt."
Calhoun is hitting .281 with two home runs and 10 RBIs this spring.
Scioscia said he didn't believe the pressure of the new role would affect Calhoun.
"He's just going to play baseball," Scioscia said.
Earl Bloom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.