Hitting 94 mph on the radar gun and the catcher’s target with regularity, Kelvim Escobar took another step on Saturday toward a return to the Angels’ rotation.
Throwing against Giants Double-A hitters in a camp game in Scottsdale, Escobar retired the first 10 hitters he faced before walking the final man. He finished with two strikeouts, throwing a total of 40 pitches. The Giants didn’t hit a ball out of the infield.
Escobar threw 24 strikes, hitting 91-93 mph regularly. He also made an athletic defensive play on a high chopper.
“I felt good,” Escobar said. “I think it was better today than the last time – location was
good, breaking stuff was better. I was more under control. Today, I was focused more on hitting my spots. The other day I think I was too excited.
“I was mixing my pitches, throwing two-seamers. I wanted to get better feel for my breaking pitches and my two-seamer. I told my catcher (Bobby Wilson) before the game I wanted to work on my breaking pitches.”
The shoulder, he said, “feels good.” He said he thinks he’s going to pitch against the Padres next, possibly in San Diego on Friday.
“I think it’d be good for me if I get to face big-league hitters and the
environment – the stadium, the lights and everything,” he said.” Playing with my
teammates again – it’ll be exciting.”
Pitching coach Mike Butcher alluded to Escobar’s “steady progression,” praising the “sharpness of his pitches and the movement on his breaking pitches.
“I think right now the value for him is just getting healthy, getting out
there and pitching,” Butcher said. “He looked pretty sharp today. It’s very impressive what he’s doing.”