Huston Street has spent every spring of his major league career in Arizona. But he's spent those springs in four different training camps, bouncing from Oakland's facility in Phoenix to Colorado's places in Tucson and Scottsdale, on to San Diego's base in Peoria before landing with the Angels in Tempe this year.
But he said the only thing that's really changed in those 11 years is the color of his uniform.
"It wouldn't matter what team I'm playing for, my routine's going to be the same," he said. "And that's what's made me good throughout my career: I stick to my routine, I stick to my plan."
The plan Saturday called for him to pitch a scoreless inning out of the bullpen. And he executed that nearly flawlessly, grazing Brandon Crawford with a pitch in an otherwise perfect performance.
"I'm really happy," said Street, who was pitching for just the fourth time this spring after being sidelined briefly with illness. "The timing was better. Overall delivery of pitches was smoother, a little bit easier coming out of the hand. So you take those steps and you build on it."
The Angels acquired Street from San Diego last July and the closer rewarded them with 17 saves and a 1.71 earned-run average in 28 appearances. But the pace and the demands of spring training differ from camp to camp. And while the Angels were never concerned with Street's preparations, they are, in a sense, still learning about them.
So Manager Mike Scioscia was understandably pleased with the right-hander's sharpness Saturday.
"Huston's stuff has picked every time he's been out," Scioscia said. "Today he really had good stuff."
The next test will be to have him pitch on consecutive days, something that could wait until the team returns to Southern California next month for the Freeway Series with the Dodgers.
"Part of the process is getting your rhythm, getting your timing, getting your mechanics in line. And then the other part, mentally, is just building the confidence that if I throw this pitch to this spot, I get a good result," Street said. "And that happened a couple of times today.
"I've got six or seven [more] appearances to lock it all in. But definitely it was a step in the right direction."
Surgery for Rasmus
Right-hander Cory Rasmus will miss the first six to eight weeks of the regular season with an undefined "core injury" that will require surgery. That leaves the Angels with a big hole in the middle of their bullpen, where Rasmus was expected to pitch as the staff's long reliever.
"It definitely opens up a void," Scioscia said.
Rasmus, 27, split last season between the Angels and triple-A Salt Lake, appearing in 30 games in the majors and posting a 2.57 ERA in 56 innings. He is scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday in Arizona and won't resume light throwing until mid-April. He won't be able to do anything strenuous until May, Scioscia said.
"I've had it for quite a while now. It's just flared up here and there," said Rasmus of the pain, which he said was in his abdomen. "Recently it's kind of been a little more than it had been in the past. So I just figured, get it fixed and move on from there."
Scioscia said Rasmus' absence could clear the way for either left-hander Jose Alvarez or right-hander Drew Rucinski to make the opening-day roster.