The grounds of Tempe Diablo Stadium were quiet Wednesday. The Angels' pitchers, catchers and coaches had the whole place to themselves and will for another day. Almost. Overachievers like Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols came to spring training early to lift weights and practice their textbook swings. Mostly, the days are full of long, idle moments. That's by design. The Angels rebuilt their starting rotation over the winter by signing Joe Blanton and trading for Tommy Hanson and Jason Vargas. They were all in camp on Wednesday, filling the idle moments with chatter. At least, Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher hopes they were. "It's like a marriage, it either gets better or ..." Butcher said before pausing and then cutting himself off. "Hopefully it gets better over time. When our guys communicate, good things will happen." For Blanton, Hanson and Vargas to be successful, they must improve on the combined 4.43 ERA last year of Angels starters not named Jered Weaver or Zack Greinke. Dan Haren and Ervin Santana, mainstays in the Angels' rotation since 2010, are gone after struggling in 2012. Haren signed with the Washington Nationals as a free agent and Santana was traded to the Kansas City Royals. For catcher Chris Iannetta to be successful, he must listen to Blanton, Hanson and Vargas. "It's 33 percent of each: You've got to know what they throw, what they're capable of doing, what their personality is," Iannetta said. "Offensive scouting reports, too."
Angels appear armed and ready for the season
L.A. Daily News | Feb 14