Trout happy to face Chapman and his heater

Like all hitters, Angels star adjusting to big league velocity early in spring

Trout happy to face Chapman and his heater

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- In the early part of spring, hitters are still trying to adjust to the velocity of a Major League pitcher.

That's why Mike Trout was actually glad to see Aroldis Chapman in Monday's fifth inning.

"It's good to face him in spring, obviously," Trout said. "See some velo."

Trout, the superstar center fielder with all the tools, and Chapman, the standout closer with a triple-digit fastball, faced each other twice when the Angels opened the 2013 season in the Reds' home ballpark. Trout popped out on April 3, but singled to left field on April 4.

Trout on working hard every day

On Monday, the 23-year-old was out in front on Chapman's changeup -- thrown at an average speed of 89 mph last year -- but legged out an infield single on a grounder to third base.

"You have to sit on the fastball, I guess," Trout said of his approach against Chapman, who also throws a wicked slider. "Just look for something out over the middle and go from there."

Easy, right?

Some additional notes from Monday …

• Angels outfielder Matt Joyce has missed the past two games due to stiffness in his right ribcage area, but took some swings Monday morning and was feeling "great." The 30-year-old left-handed hitter expects to be in the lineup Tuesday. "They really want to be cautious," Joyce said. "I'm not worried about it."

Garrett Richards took part in more pitchers' fielding practice Monday morning, which includes covering first base and basically simulating the play that led to a ruptured left patellar tendon Aug. 20. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he "came out of it great." Richards will throw to hitters for the second time Tuesday and could make his first Cactus League appearance early next week.

• Cuban infielder Roberto Baldoquin, stuck in the Dominican Republic due to visa issues, is expected to report for Spring Training this week. Baldoquin will work out in Minor League camp, which doesn't begin for position players until Saturday, but Angels coaches were hoping to have him in Major League camp earlier in spring for infield work.

• The Angels reached agreement with all 22 of their pre-arbitration players Monday. There were no renewals, which means they all agreed to their contracts. Clubs are free to determine the salaries of pre-arbitration players as long as it's at least the Major League minimum of $507,500. The Angels base those salaries heavily on service time.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.