A few small children, their guardian nearby, sat on the grass berm beyond the left-field wall at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
In front of them, Jered Weaver faced the Oakland Athletics’ Class-A team. He gave up a single to the first hitter he faced. He walked the second. And the fourth, 24-year-old outfielder Tyler Marincov, hit a three-run home run that landed a few feet from the family.
Weaver was relegated to a minor league start while his teammates had the day off. But after, he said something clicked. He took risks he does not normally take, throwing his changeup to right-handed hitters, and inside to left-handers.
“When you’re throwing the stuff that I’m throwing, you have to invent some stuff to keep people off balance,” Weaver said. “It was pretty fun, actually.”
Weaver needed 24 pitches to get out of the first inning and 61 for the remaining five innings. He struck out four batters and walked one, giving up five runs, including two home runs.
The right-hander, who has been hindered by neck and shoulder nerve tightening this spring, hopes to make his next start in the major leagues. It could come between April 7 and 11.
The Angels were nearing a minor league contract with 31-year-old right-hander Kyle Kendrick, Colorado’s opening-day starter last season. He would begin the season as triple-A rotation depth. He has a 4.63 earned-run average in nine big league seasons, including a career-worst 6.32 last season.
The Angels acquired left-hander Chris Jones from Baltimore in exchange for prospects Natanael Delgado and Erick Salcedo. Jones, 27, has never pitched in the majors and has a 3.12 ERA in triple A, where he will probably start the season.
Cincinnati offered left-hander Chris O’Grady back to the Angels. They selected him in the Rule 5 draft in December. The Angels have three days to decide whether to take him back.