Williams, Richards still battling for Angels’ fifth rotation spot
Jerome Williams and Garrett Richards are doing a good job of making the decision of who to award the fifth rotation spot very difficult for the Angels, who will need an additional starter for an April 15 game in New York’s Yankee Stadium.
Williams, slowed this spring by a left hamstring strain, threw five innings and 76 pitches for Class-A Inland Empire Thursday night, allowing two runs and five hits (including a solo home run to Dodgers prospect Nick Akins), striking out four and walking two.
With one more minor-league start Tuesday, Williams, who is on the disabled list, should get to six innings and 90 pitches, the range most managers deem necessary to be ready to start a season.
Richards, the organization’s top pitching prospect, continued to push Williams for the fifth spot, allowing two runs and four hits, striking out seven and not walking a batter for triple-A Salt Lake Thursday night.
Top outfield prospect Mike Trout also made his triple-A debut Thursday night and had three hits in five at-bats as the designated hitter. Trout went from double-A to the big leagues twice last season.