Angels’ depth will be tested again

first_imgNow they’re here, into the games of autumn, and it’s more of the same. Angels are going down like it’s the apocalypse. The injured threaten to outnumber the healthy. Just when everyone was supposed to be all rested and recuperated, their cheeks just rosy, the line to the training room grew to the parking lot. The Angels scraped all season to get here, bandaged this and band-aided that, and now it’s more of the same. On the eve of today’s division opener against the Red Sox, they learned that starting center fielder Gary Matthews Jr. will miss the entire series with severe pain in his left knee. Moments after Scioscia announced that former Cy Young winner Bartolo Colon, who had battled injuries all season, was fit and would make the playoff roster, he went out to warm up at Fenway Park Tuesday and complained his elbow hurt again. He’s out. BOSTON – Theories are supposed to be tested, to a point. Supposed to be uncovered as fact or fiction, and then everybody moves on all happy and everything. Only the Angels just can’t seem to come to a definitive conclusion. There is always another test, another challenge, another grand personnel experiment. All season long, Angels kept going down to injury and some backup would take a star turn. It was a running theme. The disabled list would swell, and the Angels would keep winning. Winning all the way into October. Winning the AL West. Winning it a week early, so Manager Mike Scioscia could rest all those players with nagging injuries. Left fielder Garret Anderson would love to tell you what he sees of all this, but he looks like he’s working on his Bluebeard the Pirate shtick. His left eye is still half shut with conjunctivitis. And he’ll start tonight. So will Chone Figgins and his sore left wrist and 0-for-22 skid in right field, because Vladimir Guerrero’s sore arm still limits him to designated hitter. And Juan Rivera’s leg is still not strong enough to play every day after he broke it in the winter. Right-hander John Lackey – and in an upset he’s healthy – will start for the Angels and throw to catcher Mike Napoli, still recovering from a sore hamstring. “We’re a little banged up,” hitting coach Mickey Hatcher said. And Washington D.C. is a little mired in bureaucracy. This all would be overkill, if it weren’t somehow appropriate. That’s how the Angels’ year has gone, so why should the postseason be any different? Rivera losing almost the entire season with his broken leg. Howie Kendrick breaking a bone in his hand and later a finger. Casey Kotchman suffering a concussion just when his bat was making like Wonderboy. Colon battling injury after injury. Anderson fighting a sore hip. Figgins suffering a wrist bone bruise. And still they won. Rose to the challenge, found a way to compete. Discovered a Reggie Willits. Polished a Maicer Izturis. Gave opportunity to a Jeff Mathis. “We’ve been playing baseball for 7 months; I don’t know that it’s possible to get to this point without having a few guys banged up,” General Manager Bill Stoneman said. “The spirit of the club has been great all year and will continue to be. “The quality of the depth has really helped us have a quality season. And there’s no reason why that should change now. The game is still the same.” Scioscia and the Angels aren’t about to make excuses now. How could they? What would be the point? They have a best-of-5 series to play against a tough Red Sox team. Yet there is no denying the injured and partially injured are taking a toll, testing their famed depth in ways they hoped were now behind them. Losing Matthews is a particular blow. His 18 home runs are second on the club to Guerrero. And as much as his power is needed, it’s his instinctive defense in Fenway’s cavernous center field that will be most missed. Willits, the rookie, will now have to experience his first playoff pressure while covering the quirky fields of Fenway. “Like most teams at this part of the season, you’re going to have guys who are nicked up,” Scioscia said. “And you have to have the depth and versatility to absorb it. “Right now Vlad Guerrero is throwing the ball much better than he has in the last 10 days or so. I think he will become an option in right field at some point in this series.” The Angels take their silver linings where they can find them these days. But as long as Guerrero can’t play right, their options at designated hitter (Rivera, Matthews, Kendry Morales, Izturis) are eliminated. The Angels are counting on the significance of the moment to help push several players through. “Sometimes even though you’re banged up, the energy at just being in the playoffs makes you forget about it,” Hatcher said. “I think that’s what will happen with some of our guys. “They’ll get out there and forget about it and get out there and play with the energy this game brings at this time of the year.” So maybe Figgins won’t be thinking of his wrist, though that doesn’t mean he’ll be as effective as if it were healthy. Sore this, aching this, sprained that. Is this anyway to open a postseason? The Red Sox are a comparative picture of health. Outfielders Coco Crisp (Inglewood High) and Manny Ramirez are back and healthy. Tim Wakefield is out with a bad back, but he’s the one starting pitcher the Angels rip. The Angels said they made it here because of their outstanding depth. If they advance, it will likely be because of it. 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first_imgMargo – The Girl from Donegal, returns to Ostan Loch Altan, Gortahork this Saturday night the 16th of February for her Annual Concert.Margo, who doesn’t tour as extensively as she used to, returns to do her annual concert in aid of The Mullaghduff Band, this Saturday in Gortahork.Fresh from receiving her Lifetime Achievement award & The Larry Cunningham Memorial Award at the Sunday World awards several weeks ago, Margo is looking forward to returning to Ostan Loch Altan and Donegal where every year she plays to a capacity crowd and entertains the audience in her professional and top class style that has earned her the title of Irelands Queen of Country Music. Joining Margo on the night are local artisits Paula Gillespie (Diver), Jacqui Sharkey and Gavin Boyle.Doors open at 7pm and show starts at 8pm sharp. Tickets are available from Books & Charts Dungloe, Ostan Loch Altan Reception and Roartys Filling Station Dunlewey.A night not to be missed and an ideal Valentines present for you country music fans.  MARGO RETURNS TO DONEGAL FOR HER ANNUAL CONCERT was last modified: February 12th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:MARGOlast_img read more