World Baseball Classic beckons Angels Vladimir Guerrero, Mike Napoli

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LAS VEGAS -- Angels catcher Mike Napoli has told General Manager Tony Reagins that he would like to play for Italy in the World Baseball Classic in March. But because Napoli is coming off surgery to clean out scar tissue in his throwing shoulder, his chances of playing appear slim.

Ditto for Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero, who was disappointed he was unable to represent his native Dominican Republic in the 2006 WBC because of a death in the family and will probably miss the 2009 WBC because he is recovering from knee surgery.

‘If he follows the protocol for recovery from his surgery, it wouldn’t make sense for him to play in the WBC,’ Reagins said. ‘We want him to be fully healthy and ready to go for spring training.’

Reagins said the latest reports on Guerrero were that he was ‘doing well and has lost some weight; he’s ahead of schedule.’


Manager Mike Scioscia is confident that Guerrero will be able to spend more time in right field and less at designated hitter next season.

‘Right now, I think there’s a probability he’s going to be able to play right field a lot,’ Scioscia said, ‘and that’s going to give us a lot of options that we’re going to need.’

-- Mike DiGiovanna

Top photo, left: Mike Napoli. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times
Top photo, right: Vladimir Guerrero. Credit: Jim Rogash / Getty Images