Angels’ Brandon Wood not worried about bad start
Brandon Wood has endured starts like this before.
Of course, when you go one for 12 to open a season in the minor leagues, you’re not widely skewered on talk radio shows and Internet message boards.
Only four games into his first season as the Angels’ starting third baseman, Wood had drawn the ire of fans who dissected every aspect of his .083 batting average. Some went so far as to tout him as a bust.
Wood doesn’t appear worried. He said before Friday night’s game against the Oakland Athletics that his swing “is going to be there” because he has rebounded from similar slow starts at triple-A Salt Lake.
“I know it’s not the big leagues,” he said, “but just because you start out 0 for 12 or one for 12, your swing is going to be there. And that’s the way I feel.”
Wood was unable to break out of his funk Friday, going 0 for 4 with a strikeout to drop his average to .063.
Teammates Torii Hunter, Bobby Abreu and Howie Kendrick have continually encouraged the prospect who is seeking a breakthrough at the major-league level after hitting 160 minor league home runs. Wood said hitting coach Mickey Hatcher has worked with him “on the consistency of where my hands are” during his at-bats.
Manager Mike Scioscia has advised Wood to relax, and Wood said he intended to do just that.
“The numbers in the first 12 at-bats might not show it,” Wood said, “but I think those are going to improve.”
Needing to bolster their bullpen after their relievers pitched 13 innings in the first four games, the Angels promoted Bobby Cassevah from Salt Lake.
Oakland had selected the right-hander from the Angels in December in the Rule 5 draft before allowing him to return this spring when he did not make the Athletics’ 25-man roster.
Cassevah, 24, spent last season with double-A Arkansas, going 3-7 with a 3.68 earned-run average and four saves as a setup man. To make room for Cassevah on their roster, the Angels optioned veteran utility man Robb Quinlan to Salt Lake.
Cassevah allowed one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings Friday in his major-league debut.
The Angels honored pitcher Nick Adenhart on the one-year anniversary of his death by presenting Jered Weaver with the Nick Adenhart Award as their top pitcher from last season.
Oakland catcher Kurt Suzuki said he spent a week in Arizona recently with Jon Wilhite, the only passenger riding with Adenhart to survive the car crash in which the Angels pitcher was killed. Suzuki and Wilhite both played for Cal State Fullerton.
“He’s doing great,” Suzuki said of Wilhite.
Continuing to build stamina after being slowed by shoulder and hamstring injuries in spring training, Scott Kazmir allowed eight hits and three runs in 6 1/3 innings in a rehabilitation start for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. Barring a setback, the left-hander is expected to make his season debut with the Angels on Thursday against the New York Yankees.... Outfielder Reggie Willits, recovering from a strained right hamstring, went 0 for 3 on Thursday in the first game of his rehabilitation assignment with Rancho Cucamonga. He is expected to play in the minor leagues through Monday and is eligible to come off the disabled list Wednesday.