Friday, April 1, 2011
Friday fodder and lineups
By Mark Saxon
* Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher wasn't thrilled while watching his relievers allow nine base runners in 2 2/3 innings Thursday, but he attributes much of those struggles to Opening Day jitters and uncontrolled adrenaline. He was also gratified to see youngsters Jordan Walden and Michael Kohn pitch well. Both those guys joined Butcher's mini-camp for young pitchers and catchers in January.
* Joel Pineiro threw a bullpen session Friday and is scheduled to fly to Arizona Saturday, then pitch in a minor-league spring training game Sunday. He was stretching his right shoulder in the clubhouse Friday and said he felt good. If all goes well, Pineiro will come off the disabled list to pitch the April 8 home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays.
* Scioscia addressed the question of whether reliever Hisanori Takahashi should be strictly a left-handed specialist. Takahashi retired one lefty, Kila Ka'aihue, then allowed three straight hits to righties Thursday. Last year, left-handed hitters batted .217 off Takahashi. Right-handers batted .264.
"He's got a variety of pitches, enough to go through some righties if they come up," Scioscia said. "He wasn't at his peak yesterday, he was behind every count. When you match him with Scott Downs, it's going to help us utilize these guys in a little better matchup situations than we can right now."
Downs, the other left-handed reliever, figures to come off the disabled list in about a week.
* Scioscia is already resting Maicer Izturis to keep him fresh and to help avoid the injuries that have plagued him. Here is Friday's lineup: