The Angels set their 25-man roster Saturday night after beating the Dodgers in the Freeway Series, selecting right-hander Cam Bedrosian and first baseman Ji-Man Choi for the last available spots in the bullpen and on the bench.
Bedrosian made the team over 22-year-old left-hander Greg Mahle, who came on strong in the spring by giving up two runs in 121/3 innings. When breaking the news to Mahle, Manager Mike Scioscia told him not to lose momentum in the minor leagues.
“They threw me in the fire time and time again,” Mahle said. “I’m just grateful for the great opportunities. I did everything I could, and there really wasn’t anything I could do. I have no regrets.”
The Angels chose Choi over outfielders Shane Robinson, Rafael Ortega and Todd Cunningham, and infielders Rey Navarro and Jefry Marte. All five will begin the season with triple-A Salt Lake, as will Mahle.
“We had probably six razor-thin decisions that were the hardest decisions in a long time,” Scioscia said. “I think that speaks well to our depth.”
Choi batted .206 with 17 strikeouts in 73 spring plate appearances before Saturday, but worked 10 walks and impressed the organization with his defense at first base. He also played some left field.
He joins catcher Geovany Soto, infielder Cliff Pennington and outfielder Craig Gentry on the Angels’ opening-day bench.
In 10 appearances this spring, the 24-year-old Bedrosian struck out 17 in 102/3 innings, earning the praise of Scioscia despite giving up five runs.
Real and fantasy
Pittsburgh left-hander Francisco Liriano will throw the first pitch of the season shortly after 10 a.m. PDT Sunday. Two hours later, Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker will face the Chicago Cubs at Angel Stadium in an exhibition game.
It is a quirk of this year’s schedule, with games that count and those that don’t sharing space on the calendar. The Angels scheduled the Sunday game because they originally intended to open the regular season by playing the Cubs on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Major League Baseball shifted their two-game series up one day, though, leaving Wednesday as a day off before the Angels host the Texas Rangers in a four-game series beginning Thursday.
Right-hander Jered Weaver rebounded from his 90-pitch outing in a minor league game Wednesday feeling fine, and has thrown a bullpen session since. The Angels will likely have him pitch a simulated game before he makes his regular-season debut this week. “He’s made a lot of progress,” Scioscia said. … C.J. Wilson was evaluated by the Angels on Saturday. The 35-year-old left-hander has not thrown in two weeks, weakened by tendinitis in his shoulder. “Everything’s moving in the right direction,” Scioscia said. “The strength isn’t quite where we wanted to start a throwing progression, but it’s definitely much better than it was when they tested it when he was shut down.”
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