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Instant replay tested again in Angels-Mariners exhibition

By By Mike Digiovanna

Los Angeles Times (MCT)

Published: Wednesday, March 12 2014 7:00 a.m. MDT

TEMPE, Ariz. — Another day, another lengthy postgame meeting between Angels Manager Mike Scioscia and the umpires. The topic: once again, instant replay.

The discussion Tuesday was sparked by an eighth-inning call that was overturned, the first of numerous spring-training challenges involving the Angels that was changed.

With the bases loaded and one out, Angels second baseman Andrew Romine dropped the ball while making the glove-to-hand transfer on a double-play attempt. The play was initially ruled a force-out.

Seattle Manager Lloyd McClendon challenged, and after a 2-minute 20-second review, umpires determined Romine did not have possession of the ball. A run scored, but instead of men being at first and third with two out, the bases remained loaded. The Mariners scored two more runs in the inning for a 6-5 lead.

According to MLB, it was the first in 21 replay reviews this spring in which the call was overturned.

“To transfer, it’s got to be a catch. The ball has to get into your bare hand cleanly and be cleared before they’re going to consider it a transfer,” Scioscia said. “I didn’t see the replay, but they ruled the ball was dropped and not in possession. So that’s one thing that will probably be called a little tighter.

“Before, it was called loosely. If you had the ball in your glove and you moved your glove to get it to your hand, it was called an out.

“That’s going to change the mechanics of how you turn a double play. A lot of guys are adept at closing their glove and flipping it into their hand for a quick transfer. If there’s a bobble on that, it’s going to be called safe.”

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Going long

C.J. Wilson was the most durable and dependable starting pitcher the Angels had last season, when he was 17-7 with a 3.39 earned-run average, but the left-hander knows he can be better by being more efficient.

Wilson led the major leagues with an average of 110.6 pitches per start, his tendency to nibble around the strike zone and failure to put hitters away earlier in counts forcing him out of many games in the sixth or seventh inning.

“They don’t pay me to throw five innings,” said Wilson, who is entering the third year of a five-year, $77.5-million deal. “My job is to throw as many innings as possible. I can throw 120 pitches a game, no problem. But instead of going six or seven innings, I can go eight or nine.”

Wilson threw 3,651 pitches, third-most in the American League behind Justin Verlander and James Shields, and averaged 17.2 pitches an inning, fourth-most in the league. That held him to an average of 6.42 innings a start. He had 188 strikeouts but also walked 85 in 2121/3 innings.

But Wilson has looked sharper this spring, needing only 67 pitches to go five innings Tuesday in a 10-6 exhibition loss to the Seattle Mariners, in which he gave up one unearned run and four hits, struck out four and walked none.

“I didn’t walk anybody, so I was popping apple cider and ginger ale in the dugout,” said Wilson, who needed 55 pitches to zip through four hitless innings against the Dodgers in his previous start. “I need to learn how to be more efficient, so today was a good example of that.”

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Short hops

Outfielder Kole Calhoun was held out of the game Tuesday because of a sore hip, but the right fielder is expected to play Wednesday. ... Outfielder Josh Hamilton (left calf strain) ran some sprints at about 75 percent on Monday and worked in the outfield Tuesday, but it appears the earliest he will play in a game is Sunday. ... Left-hander Mark Mulder, whose attempt to return after a five-year retirement ended when he ruptured an Achilles’ tendon in February, was released from his minor league contract. ... Catcher Jett Bandy and infielders Kaleb Cowart, Eric Stamets and Alex Yarbrough were reassigned to minor league camp.

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©2014 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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