Baldoquin set to arrive in camp after visa issues

Angels' Cuban infielder is making his way to Arizona

Baldoquin set to arrive in camp after visa issues

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels may finally get their chance to see Roberto Baldoquin this weekend.

After being held up by visa issues for several weeks, the 20-year-old Cuban middle infielder was in Miami on Thursday and slated to fly to Arizona later that night. Barring another setback, Baldoquin -- given an $8 million signing bonus over the offseason -- will report to camp on Friday or Saturday

Baldoquin would be getting there just in time for the start of full-squad workouts on the Minor League side, which is where he was slated to spend most of the spring. The Angels were hoping to have him work on the Major League side in the early part of spring, but Baldoquin was held up in the Dominican Republic and Haiti over issues with his temporary worker visa.

For the last few days, Baldoquin was stuck in his hotel room in Haiti -- where he established residency upon defecting Cuba -- because the Haitian government was on strike.

"We really want to see him out here and watch him play," Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said recently. "He's been outstanding in the Dominican, and at this time of year, in the Dominican Republic, we're constantly playing games in camp and against other clubs. Baldo, prior to leaving for Haiti, he was playing every day. The reports are that he's a leader among the team."

Worth noting

Matt Joyce was a late scratch from the Angels' lineup Thursday because of a tight hamstring. The move was precautionary, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, and the veteran outfielder could return Friday.

C.J. Wilson, who was scratched from his Thursday start after tweaking his left knee in pitchers' fielding practice, got a precautionary MRI that checked out fine. He's slated to throw a bullpen session Saturday and then take his next turn Tuesday.

Garrett Richards will pitch in another two-inning simulated game over the weekend, this time with PFP mixed in, and then he'll be ready to pitch in his first Cactus League game, perhaps middle or late next week. Scioscia said he'll probably only just throw one inning in his first game.

Huston Street is back with the team after getting sick right before game time Tuesday and staying in his room on Wednesday. He'll throw a bullpen session Saturday and expects to pitch in a game Sunday.

Joe Smith has yet to appear in his first Spring Training game because of lower-leg stiffness. He said if it were the regular season, he would've only missed a couple days.

"It's just one of those things early in spring, they just wanted me out there with [no ailments]," Smith said.

He should pitch in the next couple days and has plenty of time to be ready for the regular season.

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.