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Alexi Amarista makes the cut

4/4/2012

LOS ANGELES -- The Angels' final roster spot went to scrappy utility player Alexi Amarista over the more experienced, more powerful choice, Jorge Cantu.

Manager Mike Scioscia said the decision came down to Amarista's ability to play five positions and the glut of corner infielders on the Angels' roster.

"His versatility is something we can use, and the opportunity to have some speed off the bench was important to us," Scioscia said.

Amarista, generously listed at 5 feet 7, batted .322 with two home runs, 13 RBIs and 10 runs this spring. Cantu, who is on a minor league deal, hit .277 with two home runs and 10 RBIs.

Amarista's stay in the big leagues could be a short one. Scioscia said the team probably will move to a 12-pitcher staff when it has to activate a fifth starter to pitch the April 15 game at Yankee Stadium. The Angels broke camp with 11 pitchers, eight infielders, four outfielders and two catchers.

Four players -- Bobby Cassevah, Michael Kohn, Jerome Williams and Jeremy Moore -- begin the season on the disabled list.