Scot Shields and Kevin Jepsen, two valuable members of the Angels’ bullpen, stretched it out on Thursday in the warm sun of Tempe Diablo Stadium and came out of the session feeling ready for the next step toward the mound.
“Shiedsy and l got back for 10 minutes of long toss, and it felt great — for both of us,” Jepsen said. “I’m happy. The best part is I felt good after I’d stopped throwing for a while and went back out. No issues at all. This was a very good day.”
Shields, rebounding from left knee surgery, and Jepsen, who experienced some shoulder pain early in camp, have been delayed in throwing off the mound.
“I feel like I could throw right now,” Shields said, “but I understand them being cautious with me. You’ve got to look at the big picture.”
It was the first day of live batting practice, and starters Ervin Santana, Joel Pineiro and Joe Saunders all threw effectively.
“I was focused on fastball command,” Saunders said, “and it really felt good to be out there. The second pitch I threw was a line drive right back at me, but I got out of the way.”
First baseman Kendry Morales remained absent as he goes through the final stages of acquiring his work permit. The Cuba native established residency in the Dominican Republic after defecting in 2004. He is expected in camp any day.