GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The raw numbers look grim for Andrew Heaney, the highly touted young starter who's already considered the best prospect in the Angels' system. But this is the time of year when you look past things like that, especially with a 23-year-old left-hander still trying to find his footing against Major League hitters.
"It's almost like going to school," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "You're getting your lesson, you're learning, hopefully improving, and you get to a certain point and you graduate and you're ready."
Heaney isn't ready just yet, but Scioscia insists that he's showing flashes, difficult as they might be to perceive in an outing like Thursday's.
Against the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch, Heaney was charged with six runs on seven hits and a walk in 3 1/3 innings, ballooning his Cactus League ERA to 8.68. Five of those runs came in the bottom of the second, amid a seven-batter barrage that saw him lose command of his fastball and continually miss high with his changeup.
After that, "Every pitch seemed like it had a purpose and he pitched well," Scioscia said. Heaney came away thinking it was "the best stuff I've had" all spring "by far," and Scioscia agreed.
"It definitely was," Scioscia said. "I really think Andrew made some adjustments after that second inning."