The Los Angeles Angels are deep in the thick of Spring Training and although they have only amassed a 9-6 record in the Cactus League, they are getting all of their pieces in place and turning some heads with their formidable roster.
Mike Bauman of MLB.com, for example, is already prepared to make the claim that the Angels look like a championship team.
Optimism characterizes this time of the year on the baseball calendar. But the optimism of the Angels is built on sturdier stuff than the usual high hopes. When (Torii) Hunter says, "We can win," it seems more like a statement of fact than a mere hope.
But while the Angels have been getting their starters in playing shape, they are also thinning their ranks in preparation of solidifying their opening-day roster. Maria C. Smith of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have cut their Spring Training roster to 43 players.
Right-handed pitchers Matt Shoemaker, Daniel Tillman and David Carpenter; left-hander Matt Meyer; catcher Robinzon Diaz and catcher Doug Deeds were assigned to minor league camp, which opened Thursday.
Right-hander Johnny Hellweg ... was optioned to double-A Arkansas along with right-hander Ariel Pena.
Right-hander Fabio Martinez was optioned to Class-A Inland Empire, and infielder Luis Jimenez optioned to triple-A Salt Lake.
Finally, a pair of key, ailing players returned to action this weekend, as both Kendrys Morales and Mike Trout were sent to minor league games in Tempe, according to Joey Nowak of MLB.com. Morales was 2-for-5 in his first game back on Friday. He followed that up with a 1-for-4 performance on Saturday with a single and a run scored.
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