Halos hope to keep D. Guerra after clearing waivers

Angels' bullpen picture beginning to take shape

Halos hope to keep D. Guerra after clearing waivers

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Deolis Guerra, a Rule 5 Draft pick, was informed he will not crack the Angels' bullpen but could remain with the organization nonetheless. Guerra cleared waivers and rejected an outright assignment on Friday, but spent the morning working out in the back fields of the Angels' Spring Training complex in hopes of finalizing a Minor League deal.

Guerra, a burly 6-foot-5 right-hander, recovered from a blood clot that knocked him out for most of the 2013 season and enjoyed a nice run with the Pirates' Triple-A affiliate last year, posting a 1.23 ERA, a 0.79 WHIP and a 4.63 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 25 appearances.

But the 26-year-old gave up seven runs in 7 2/3 innings in Spring Training and the Angels didn't have room for him in their bullpen. 

Huston Street, Joe Smith, Fernando Salas, Cory Rasmus, Mike Morin and Jose Alvarez are expected to make up six spots in the 'pen, with the likes of Al Alburquerque, Javy Guerra, Cam Bedrosian, A.J. Achter and Greg Mahle seemingly competing for one or two openings. The Angels could choose to open the year with an eighth reliever rather than a fifth starter, since they won't need the latter until April 11.

Signed by the Mets out of Venezuela in 2005, Deolis Guerra was a starter for his first five years in professional baseball until the Twins began transitioning him to the bullpen in 2011. He holds a 4.68 ERA in his 10-year Minor League career and made 10 appearances with the Pirates in 2015, posting a 6.48 ERA.

"His arm is real," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "There's no doubt that his stuff is good. He's got size, he's got angle. He had a little problem with command. Some things are just controlling his game. He understands it."

Worth noting

Tyler Skaggs felt good the morning after his first appearance in a game in 19 months and is tentatively lined up to pitch three innings on Tuesday. Skaggs' appearance could come in the Cactus League game against the Indians, even though Garrett Richards is slated to start that game. Skaggs should be ready by the end of April.

• Major League special assignment scout Tim Schmidt was let go by the organization on March 15. Schmidt was one of the first hires made by former Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto, who took the job in October 2011. Schmidt, 60, has scouted for the last 28 years, also with the Yankees, Marlins, Mariners and D-backs.

• Several of the players remaining in camp will return to Anaheim early for a Tuesday workout at Angel Stadium. The Angels will be off the following Wednesday, then begin a three-game exhibition Freeway Series against the crosstown Dodgers and host the Cubs, their Opening Day opponent, for one final exhibition contest Sunday.

• Catcher Jett Bandy was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake on Friday, whittling the Angels' Spring Training roster to 43 players (including Skaggs and C.J. Wilson, who will start the season on the disabled list). Bandy wasn't expected to make the team, but will probably be the first player called up if something happens to Carlos Perez or Geovany Soto.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and Facebook , and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.