Angels strike out during first try of new instant-replay system

Angels strike out during first try of new instant-replay system
Angels Manager Mike Scioscia didn't have any luck using instant replay to reverse a call during Monday's Cactus League game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. (Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Angels put baseball's new instant-replay system or, to be more precise, a crude facsimile of what will be used in the regular season, to the test for the first time Monday at Salt River Fields.

It did not go well, with Manager Mike Scioscia losing his challenge to overturn a call at second base in the second inning of the Angels' 3-2 exhibition victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The process delayed the game for 2 minutes 31 seconds.

But in defense of Scioscia and Nick Francona, the coordinator of major league information who will man the video-replay monitor for the Angels this season, the decision to challenge was based on a replay from one camera.

"There was only one angle, and it was a little blocked," Scioscia said. "We're going to have about 15 angles [during the regular season] and will be able to get a little better read on it."


Luis Jimenez was called out on a stolen-base attempt, a play in which Arizona second baseman Aaron Hill fielded a high throw and reached back for the tag.

As Scioscia argued with umpire Bill Miller, bench coach Dino Ebel received word via walkie-talkie from Francona, who was watching a monitor in the team's clubhouse, that the play should be challenged.

Umpires donned headsets to communicate with a replay official in a television truck in the parking lot. Miller's call was upheld, and Scioscia lost his right to challenge any more calls.

"One of the problems with spring training is you don't have all the camera angles you're going to have during the season," Francona said. "The general consensus is that spring training is for the on-field choreography of what they're trying to get down, and the actual technology of the replay system itself will come."

But if replays from several cameras must be viewed to determine whether to challenge a call, won't that add more time to the review process and lengthen delays?

"I'm sure they're going to tighten that up at some point," Scioscia said. "There are some things that have to be smoothed out."

Arizona Manager Kirk Gibson said he was so consumed by instant replay during the game that he "didn't know who we had on the bench hardly." He came away thinking the new system is "much more complicated than we thought."

Looking good

Garrett Richards was sharp in his first spring-training start, giving up no runs and two hits, striking out two and walking none, and throwing first-pitch strikes to eight of 10 batters in three scoreless innings.

For the first time in three years, Richards, 25, came to camp knowing he has a rotation spot secured, but he's trying to maintain the same edge he had the last two springs.

"The last two years, I competed for a spot, so I know what it's like to be on that end of the stick," Richards said. "I try to keep the same mentality I've had every spring. Just because I'm in the rotation right now doesn't mean I'll be in it at the end of the year. I have to stay sharp and improve."

Short hops

Ian Stewart was in Monday's lineup at first base but was scratched because of a non-baseball-related injury. "He was messing around with his daughter and got hit in the nose," Scioscia said. "He's getting it checked out." … Reliever Sean Burnett, recovering from surgery for an elbow tear, has extended his long-toss program to 180 feet and hopes to throw off the slope of a mound this weekend.

Twitter: @MikeDiGiovanna