Notes: Young Adenhart has the talent

Notes: Young Adenhart has the talent

PHOENIX -- Right-hander Nick Adenhart knew he would be starting the season at the Double-A level this season, and getting a final chance to face Major League hitters this spring was just another bonus as he works his way up through the Angels' Minor League system.

Pitching five shutout innings in a 2-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday was a big step in the right direction for the 20-year-old right-hander, who has pitched at the Class A level the previous two seasons. He was 15-4 with a 2.56 ERA at two Minor League stops in 2006.

"I came in here ready to learn what it takes to move up," Adenhart said after allowing three hits, walking two and striking out two. "It's been a big learning process."

While Opening Day starter John Lackey got his work done in a Triple-A Minor League game against the A's, Adenhart was busy trying to work out of jams in the first and fifth. In between, he retired 10 of the 11 batters he faced.

Adenhart got a double play in the first and fifth innings to end Oakland's best scoring chances, earning praise from his catcher, Jose Molina.

"He's got good command and good stuff," Molina said. "He's just learning, but you never know when he'll be up. He just needs to pitch."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia compared Adenhart (1-0, 1.54 this spring) to Jered Weaver's effort at the end of Spring Training last year.

"It's much like Jered did in San Francisco," said the eighth-year manager. "He's pitching against Major League hitters in a Major League environment. He has to carry some confidence out there."

Adenhart, who underwent Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery in 2004, said he's still looking to keep and maintain his consistency.

"I want to be able to make all my starts, stay healthy and work deep into games," he said. "Hopefully they will have confidence in me to fill a spot."

Taking the fifth: Right-hander Dustin Moseley was officially named the Angels' fifth starter by Scioscia after Wednesday's game. He was considered the front-runner in a competition with right-hander Hector Carrasco.

"Moseley kept himself an option by pitching well," Scioscia said. "These last couple of outings we needed to see which guy is further along. Either guy could have done it. With Justin [Speier] pitching so well, it gives us more options in the bullpen."

Spring Training
News and features:
• GM Stoneman on Angels' spring:  350K
• Lackey ready for season:  350K
• Cabrera on spring routine:  350K
• Branson Wood on his preparation:  350K
Spring Training info: coverage  |  Schedule  |  Ballpark  |  Tickets

Scioscia indicated that Moseley will get at least two starts, while Carrasco will be used out of the bullpen.

Lackey looks ready: Lackey pitched six full innings against the A's Triple-A players at Oakland's Minor League complex at Papago Park. He was taken out after recording one out in the seventh.

"He needed to get up and down seven times, and he did that," Scioscia said. "He needed to get his pitch count up. He threw the ball well, and we'll catch up with him tomorrow to see how he feels."

Dribblers: Reggie Willits and Erick Aybar each sustained minor bruises during Wednesday's game. ... Catcher Bobby Wilson, outfielder Terry Evans, infielder Brandon Wood, infielder Sean Rodriguez, infielder Hainley Statia, right-hander Warner Madrigal, and right-hander Marc Gwyn will join the Angels in Los Angeles for the Freeway Series this weekend. ... Curtis Pride went 2-for-3 on Wednesday. He was 3-for-23 entering the game. ... Scioscia has not confirmed the final spot in the bullpen, saying he needed to look at some things.

Up next: For the opening of the Freeway Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night, Carrasco will face Randy Wolf at Dodger Stadium, followed by Ervin Santana vs. Jason Schmidt on Friday and Joe Saunders against Brad Penny on Saturday in Anaheim. A split squad will face Milwaukee's Chris Capuano on Thursday in Phoenix, with right-hander Matt Hensley getting the start.

Rick Eymer is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.