Indians’ Wood, Angels’ Weaver make 1st appearances
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP)—A pair of high-profile pitchers made their first spring appearances in the Angels’ 8-4 win over the Indians on Tuesday.
New Indians closer Kerry Wood worked a scoreless inning with a strikeout in relief.
Angels starter Jered Weaver allowed four hits and a run in two-thirds of an inning.
Weaver began throwing off a mound only 11 days ago and has been held out of Cactus League action because of soreness in his throwing shoulder.
He survived a scare when Travis Hafner’s hard single up the middle tipped his right ear.
“It was quite a good wake-up call,” said Weaver, 11-10 with a 4.33 ERA with a career-high 30 starts in 2008. “That’s usually what happens when you throw a fastball down the middle.”
Wood, who had 34 saves with the Chicago Cubs last season before signing a two-year deal with Cleveland, has been held back due to soreness in his lower back.
“It was good to see (Wood) get out there,” Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. “It was good for Victor (Martinez) to be back there catching him, too.”
“It was nice to get a different uniform in the box,” he said. “It always adds a new level of adrenaline.”
Scioscia has been impressed with Brandon Wood’s play this spring.
“I like his plate discipline,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ” He’s getting in hitting counts. He’s putting the ball in play. I think we’re seeing the type of player we saw in the second half of the year last year in Triple-A and for periods of his time in his minor-league career.”
With Ervin Santana dealing with elbow inflammation and unlikely to start the season on time and with the Angels waiting for Kelvim Escobar to return after missing all of 2008, Weaver’s health is quite valuable to a team that already will enter the season with two starters out of action.
“He’ll be ready for the start of the season,” Scioscia said. “He’s on-pace if there are no setbacks. I thought he had really good stuff. The command needs to be a little crisper, but that’s to be expected. We just need to get him out there a little more so he can fine-tune some things.”
Weaver was happy with the feeling in his shoulder.
“I’ve been working my butt off trying to get (my shoulder) back in shape and it’s felt good the last week and a half or so,” he said. “They haven’t found anything in there, so I’m happy about that.
“It was only my fourth time off the mound I’m just worried about feeling good. I was leaving some balls up. It will come over time. I just need to get a few more bullpen (sessions) in there. … My off-speed (pitches) wasn’t quite there yet. I was just worried about how my shoulder felt going out there in a game situation and everything felt good.”