Print and Go Back ESPN.com: MLB Spring Training [Print without images]

Sunday, March 14, 2010
Willits exits with tight right hamstring

By Mark Saxon
ESPNLosAngeles.com

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Reggie Willits left Sunday's Cactus League game against the Chicago Cubs with a tight right hamstring, an injury that could open the door to a roster spot for a couple of longtime minor leaguers.

Terry Evans, 28, and Michael Ryan, 32, are battling Willits for the Angels' reserve outfield job.

The competition had already narrowed this spring when Chris Pettit opted to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Willits' injury doesn't appear to be serious, but that hamstring injuries can be "tricky."

"We'll give it a couple days and watch it," Scioscia said.

Another player who was supposed to be in the mix for the outfield job, Peter Bourjos, flashed his speed in the ninth inning Sunday, when he bunted for a base hit and quickly stole second. Scioscia said Bourjos, 23, is doubtful to make the Angels out of spring training.

"It's not going to take him too long if he keeps progressing to where he's solidly on our depth chart," Scioscia said.

Evans batted .291 with 26 home runs and 90 RBIs at Triple-A Salt Lake last year. The Angels signed Ryan as a minor league free agent this winter. His last major league at-bat came with the Minnesota Twins in 2005.

Willits, who finished fifth in rookie of the year balloting in 2007, had spent the bulk of the two previous seasons at Triple-A. He appeared to injure himself running after an RBI single off Randy Wells in the second inning.

Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com.