Minor League Spring Training, Day One

Hank Conger was the Angels’ first-round draft pick in June 2006.

I’m in Tempe for three days to shoot photos and video at minor league camp. I’ll post a few photos each day at this link:


The video will have to wait until I return to Orange County.

You’ll see Hank Conger and Young-Il Jung in the photos. Jung was the starting pitcher today, and Conger was his catcher. Jung was very wild, and appeared to be on a limited pitch count as he was removed in the second inning. In minor league spring training, a manager can call "roll over" or "switch sides" to end an inning before three outs if his pitcher is exceeding his anticipated pitch count. That’s what happened to Jung in the 2nd, and he didn’t start the 3rd. I doubt he was hurt, as he came out later and joined his teammates in the bleachers to watch the rest of the game. (Something in Korean was handwritten under the bill of his cap.)

WIth a runner on 3rd in the top of the 1st, Conger sailed a pickoff throw down the 3rd base line.

Because the parent club had a split-squad day, and the Triple-A and Double-A teams were on the road, there were very few "name" players at the minor league camp for this afternoon’s games.

Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg is managing the Cubs’ Low-A Peoria team this year. He coached third base today in the game Jung and Conger played in for the "Cedar Rapids" squad.

This was my first visit to the new minor league complex. As many people know, the Angels’ had a separate minor league complex in Mesa from 1984 through 2005. It was like going from a Mini-Cooper to an Escalade. I miss the intimacy of Gene Autry Park, but it was pretty obvious how handy this is for the parent club. Announcements were made over the P.A. for players to report to Tempe Diablo Stadium across the parking lot when they were needed for the split-squad game.

Tomorrow is an off-day for the parent club but the minor league complex is in full swing, so I’m curious to see whether Moreno, Stoneman, Scioscia and crew spend the day at minor league camp or take the day to go smell the roses … By the way, the temperature has approached 100 degrees yesterday and today. Oh, and regular gas is about $2.65 – $2.70 a gallon. Their price isn’t as high because they don’t pay extra for all the additional refining to keep the air clean and the gas tax is lower. If you’re driving out, it’s always a handy tip to try to gas up after you cross the border into Arizona, and on the way back to do so just before re-entering California.

This article is copyright © 2007 Wordsmith Resources and FutureAngels.com. It may not be used elsewhere without the prior expressed written permission of the author.

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