Things we're close to knowing

March, 28, 2012
Opening Day is a week from Friday and, with only four more games in Arizona -- three with the regular lineup -- the Angels are zeroing on some decisions.

The bullpen is practically set. Kevin Jepsen (probably) is in and Bobby Cassevah and Michael Kohn probably are out, because of nagging injuries. The Angels would love for Jason Isringhausen to make it so closer Jordan Walden would have twin pillars of 39-year-old wisdom along with LaTroy Hawkins, but Isringhausen had been shaky and his mechanics, by his own admission, were askew.

Isringhausen is set to work in back-to-back games for the first time this spring and the first day helped his cause. He worked a scoreless inning Wednesday and Mike Scioscia told reporters his stuff looked more crisp. ...

Dan Haren is right on track to pitch Game 2 against Kansas City, though Wednesday was a bit of a bump in what had been the smoothest of springs for the big right-hander. Haren gave up nine hits against the Cincinnati Reds in less than six innings and told reporters afterward he was going through a bit of a "dead-arm phase. Most starting pitchers experience that in spring training, so it's probably no big deal.

"Spring training is getting a little bit monotonous at this point," Haren said.

No kidding. ...

Vernon Wells needed a "do-over" after his dismal 2011 season, so he worked with Chicago Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo on fundamentally changing his swing, but thus far the results look pretty similar. When Wells hits it, he hits it hard. He hit his third home run of the spring in the third inning off Bronson Arroyo.

But the vast majority of his at-bats are ending with mishits and misses. He is batting .250 this spring, which isn't that bad when you consider he batted .218 last season.

Mark Saxon
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.



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Howie Kendrick
.293 7 75 85
HRM. Trout 36
RBIM. Trout 111
RM. Trout 115
OPSM. Trout .939
WJ. Weaver 18
ERAG. Richards 2.61
SOJ. Weaver 169