Heaney among six players sent to Minors

Pitcher demoted along with Rutledge, Green, Kubitza, Krauss, Snodgress

Heaney among six players sent to Minors

ANAHEIM -- The Angels cut six players after Friday's game, optioning starter Andrew Heaney and infielders Josh Rutledge, Grant Green and Kyle Kubitza to Triple-A Salt Lake, and reassigning reliever Scott Snodgress and power hitter Marc Krauss to the Minor Leagues.

The Angels' Spring Training roster is now at 32 players. Snodgress and Krauss will be with the team at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, for the finale of the Freeway Series, but won't make the Opening Day roster.

Krauss getting optioned could be a sign that Efren Navarro, another left-handed-hitting outfielder and first baseman, has locked down the last spot off the Angels' bench. The moves also confirmed that Johnny Giavotella will be the starting second baseman and Taylor Featherston, a Rule 5 pick that hasn't played above Double-A, will be the backup infielder.

Rutledge came in competing for the starting second-base job, but struggled with the mechanics of his swing and batted only .192.

"Josh is a much better hitter than he showed this spring," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We know that, and we have a lot of confidence that he's going to get back to where he needs to be. He just needs at-bats. He just never got on track, never felt comfortable in the batter's box from the get-go. And I think as we start the season right now, the best course of action with Josh is to let him find his swing. When he does, he can hit."

Green will be used in a super-utility role in Triple-A and Rutledge will mostly play the middle infield, occasionally mixing in some third base even though that's Kubitza's sole position.

Like Rutledge, Heaney struggled in his first spring with the Angels. But the 23-year-old left-hander exited on a good note, throwing 5 1/3 no-hit innings against the Dodgers to drop his spring ERA from 9.00 to 7.03.

"Andrew worked very, very hard this week, in drills and a good bullpen, to try to find that same motion and delivery and tempo that made him one of the most coveted pitching prospects in baseball a couple years ago," Scioscia said. "He had some issues with it during his opportunity with the Marlins last year. Coming into camp this year, he was a little further across his body. Sometimes it's not a quick fix or an easy fix, but Andrew, after that first inning especially, made some adjustments in all the areas that are important. You could certainly see why we're excited about him."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.