Defense looking for redemption

first_img“He probably should have done a little more than he did this winter to prepare for this,” said Stoneman, a former major-league pitcher. “You learn as you go and he had never thrown as many innings as he threw this past year in major-league pressure situations. I’ve lived it and understand that doing work for sixweeks leading into camp is important.” Road to recovery: Dallas McPherson, a Phoenix-area resident, was on hand as the Angels gathered as a full team for the first time this spring. Four weeks after back surgery to fuse two lower vertebra, McPherson said he is walking two miles a day. He still is eight weeks away from any strenuous rehab. “If it happens to (cost) this whole season, so be it; I don’t have any options,” McPherson said. “I’ll try to get back as soon as I can. Luckily in this day and age, there’s a lot of ball after the season. There’s instructional league, there’s fall ball, there’s winter ball, there’s a lot of things I can do to get ready for spring training and try to get my timing back and make it a little better progression.” First injury: Projected Triple-A catcher Brent Del Chiaro suffered the first injury of the spring, breaking the bone at the tip of his right middle finger during drills Monday. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2731 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! As the captain of the infield at shortstop, Cabrera will be in the spotlight as the team looks for redemption on defense. Make no mistake, the poor defense is considered around these parts just as much the reason for failure last season as the shaky offense. “I believe this is a team that we have to have every single aspect of our game above average to maintain a winning attitude or a winning situation,” Cabrera said. “You know, our defense last year, we threw a lot of games (away). We need to improve that. We need to get back on track and play solid defense.” While additional defensive drills won’t necessarily be added to the spring routine, there will be an emphasis on catching and throwing the ball. “After the first four weeks of the season, everyone picked up their defense, and it’s no coincidence that as we started playing better defense, we started winning games,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. A learning experience: General manager Bill Stoneman is not happy with Jered Weaver’s offseason workout schedule, but is willing to chalk up the right-hander’s slow spring start to a learning experience. Weaver (Simi Valley High) still has not thrown from a mound as he tends to his biceps tendinitis. TEMPE, Ariz. – Never one to mince words, Orlando Cabrera gave his assessment of how the Angels used – or rather failed to use – their gloves in 2006. “The defense was horrible,” Cabrera said on the first day of full-squad workouts. center_img In an assessment of himself, Cabrera said he was merely average last season, a far cry from the above-average ranking he typically gives himself. All the way around the infield, the Angels were substandard, leaving them with the worst fielding percentage in the American League. last_img

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