Notes: Angels' Weaver still has time

Notes: Angels' Weaver still has time to start

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Spring Training has the luxury of time built in to handle small setbacks, but it is also a fixed period.

Nothing will stop Opening Day from coming April 2, when the Angels host the Rangers, so clubs assess each player's readiness and adjust accordingly. Such is the case with second-year starter Jered Weaver.

Weaver has yet to throw from the mound this spring as he recovers from biceps tendinitis and had Monday off, which is a normal rest day. Manager Mike Scioscia said he prefers his pitchers to have three bullpen sessions, the first eight minutes long, the second 10 minutes and the third 12 minutes, and two outings against live hitters before getting a start in exhibition games.

The norm then is to have about five or six spring starts to be ready for the regular season. If Weaver gets on the mound by the weekend as expected, Scioscia said his young right-hander should have time to be ready by April.

"If he can get out there four or five times in games, he should get stretched out enough. As we approach that, we'll look at a couple dates to see where it has to be," Scioscia said. "Right now, we're not going to put anything on it. You have to be flexible to see how he feels. He's making great progress flat ground, long toss. He should be on a mound in a reasonable enough time to where he's going to be a candidate to start the season."

The Angels open the Cactus League schedule on March 1 when they host the Royals.

No rush: Francisco Rodriguez participated in PFP (pitcher's fielding practice) but did not throw a bullpen session Monday as the team gives its closer more time to recover from a slight stain of his right hamstring.

"He'll be on the mound in the next couple of days. The bullpens were fine, but we don't need to jumpstart him right now," Scioscia said, referring to the damp conditions Monday. "He's going to be ready, so we'd rather take the extra two or three days at this end and get his hammy to where it needs to be. But he felt much better today."

Rodriguez had not participated for the last five days after feeling the strain on the first day of workouts.

Update: The Angels were briefed on some of the new rules changes, as umpire supervisor Steve Palermo held a clubhouse meeting Monday morning.

One change concerning pitchers will be the enforcement of the 12-second rule that requires a pitcher to deliver the ball within 12 seconds of the previous pitch when no runners are on base. Most of the Angels did not feel that would have much affect on their staff.

"I like to work fast," Joe Saunders said. "That won't be a problem."

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Looking for work: There are realistically three and possibly four position spots open on the club, with the main battles at first base, fifth outfielder and the last slot in the bullpen. Mike Napoli, Jose Molina and Jeff Mathis also are battling for two of three slots at catcher.

But Scioscia sees the greater action occurring in the simple fight for playing time.

"Some of these guys might see their way onto this club, but it will be their performance that will get them playing time, and that's where the real competition will take place," Scioscia said. "A guy like [Robb Quinlan], who we know is going to be on the team, if he's playing well he's going to get more at-bats. [Maicer Izturis], guys like that. There will be competition as much for playing time as for spots on the roster."

Izturis started at third for most of last season but will be a reserve infielder this year behind Chone Figgins at third and Howie Kendrick at second base. Quinlan will compete with Casey Kotchman, Kendry Morales and Shea Hillenbrand at first but projects as a reserve at the corner infield and outfield positions.

The first full-squad workout is scheduled for Tuesday.

New deal: Jose Mota signed a four-year extension Monday to remain as the Angels' Spanish language radio analyst.

Mota enters his sixth season in that capacity and will also handle English language play-by-play duties on Fox Sports Net West and KCOP with new TV analyst Mark Gubicza. Mota also will continue in his role on pre- and postgame shows on FSN West.

Guest stars: Former Angels ace Jim Abbott arrived in camp Monday and will be on hand for about a week as a roving pitching instructor. Tim Salmon is scheduled to arrive Tuesday and will assist with Ron Roenicke with the outfielders.

Art Mazmanian, the father of Angels director of communications Nancy Mazmanian, will arrive Tuesday as a guest instructor for the remainder of February. Art Mazmanian was the head baseball coach for 35 years at Mt. San Antonio College.

Mike Scarr is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.