Angels set Cactus League rotation; Garrett Richards begins drills

Angels pitcher Garrett Richards will throw his sixth bullpen session of the spring on Wednesday

Angels left-hander Hector Santiago will start Thursday’s Cactus League opener against the Milwaukee Brewers, and he will be followed in the exhibition-season rotation by Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Matt Shoemaker, Manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday.

That will line up Weaver to start the April 6 season opener against the Seattle Mariners with one extra day of rest. It would be the veteran right-hander’s seventh opening-day start and sixth in a row.

Wilson and Shoemaker would be in line to follow Weaver in the regular-season rotation, barring injuries.

Scioscia said that Garrett Richards, who will throw his sixth bullpen session of the spring Wednesday morning, will also begin light fielding drills today, as the hard-throwing right-hander continues his rehabilitation from knee surgery.

“He’s starting that progression where he’s phasing out of the rehabilitation stage and moving toward a traditional spring,” Scioscia said. “He’s still behind the other guys, but he’s ready for what he’s doing.”

Richards, who ruptured his left patellar tendon while covering first base in Fenway Park last August, is expected to be ready to return in mid-April.

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