Notes: Weaver passes test
Ailing righty feeling 'great' after simulated game
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Jered Weaver came off the mound exhaling at Field A on Thursday at the Angels' Spring Training complex, having passed a major road test on his way to a big April 16 date he plans to make in Boston.Pointing toward an assignment at Fenway Park on the day of the Boston Marathon, Weaver threw 60 pitches at hitters in a simulated game, continuing his recovery from biceps tendinitis that afflicted him after a highly successful rookie season in 2006. "I felt great, no pain," Weaver said. "Everything I needed to do to get over the hump, I did it. It's a big relief. I really needed this, for everything to feel great." Ten of those 60 pitches were breaking balls, the first time this spring he's tested his arm with curves and sliders. The offspeed stuff felt as good as the 50 fastballs and changeups he delivered, Weaver said, another positive sign. He is on schedule to throw a Minor League camp game on March 27 and then continue to work every fifth day in rehab assignments leading to April 16 -- a week after he's eligible to come off the disabled list, with the Angels wrapping up a four-game set in Boston. "That should be an interesting day," Weaver said, grinning, referring to the 7 a.m. PT start at Fenway designed to accommodate the famous marathon. Weaver was 11-2 with a 2.56 ERA in 19 starts with the Angels last year after starting his second professional season going 6-1 with a 1.99 ERA at Triple-A Salt Lake. The 6-foot-7 Weaver, a first-round pick in 2004, worked a total of 200 innings in '06, including 123 with the Angels. He struck out 105 hitters while walking only 33. In his only start at Fenway Park, Weaver lasted 6 2/3 innings and gave up three earned runs but did not figure in the decision. Anderson keeps humming: Garret Anderson, diminished by injuries the past two seasons, continues to lift manager Mike Scioscia's spirits with his healthy body, making every drill and offering the promise of a big season in the cleanup spot behind Vladimir Guerrero. "He plays, and plays well, when he's nicked up, but when Garret's together, he's at a different level," Scioscia said. "It's what we see now. "I don't know if we've ever seen them in the lineup when they're both healthy. It'll be exciting to see what a healthy Garret can do behind Vlad -- because as many times as Vlad cleans that table, he sets it." From 2000 through 2003, Anderson averaged 119.8 RBIs per season. Scioscia thinks he's capable of approaching those four-year totals -- 117, 123, 123 and 116 -- again if he stays healthy.
Carrasco, Hillenbrand shine: The sun didn't appear, and two innings were all the Angels and Rangers could get in at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Thursday before the game was called by persistent rain. But Hector Carrasco and Shea Hillenbrand made the most of the limited time.Strengthening his bid for a spot in the rotation, Carrasco struck out three in two hitless innings -- and then went to the bullpen to throw some more, getting close to 50 pitches for the day, Scioscia said. Hillenbrand cracked a solo homer to left against Scott Feldman in the second inning after Anderson had doubled following a single by Guerrero, who was thrown out at home on a strong Texas relay. In a camp game nearby, Dustin Moseley threw 82 pitches and "pitched very well," Scioscia said. Moseley or Carrasco will get the fifth start of the season, with Weaver and Bartolo Colon both on the disabled list. Up next: John Lackey, the Angels' Opening Day starter, has a tuneup on Friday at Peoria against Seattle and young right-hander Felix Hernandez. Lackey has been brilliant this spring, walking one hitter while striking out 15 in 12 1/3 innings with a 2-0 record and 0.73 ERA. The April 2 starter against Texas in Anaheim will be Lackey's second Opening Day assignment.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.