Angels eye Weaver for opener

Updated: March 17, 2010, 8:18 PM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Los Angeles Angels still haven't given their starting pitchers regular-season assignments, but it doesn't take much imagination to figure out what their plans are for the first series against the Minnesota Twins.

Jered Weaver is lined up to pitch Opening Night, followed by lefty Joe Saunders and right-hander Ervin Santana. Manager Mike Scioscia acknowledged that's the way things shape up after the Angels' 7-6 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.

"We've got them lined up, but we can adjust forward, too, if something happens," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We'll have a better idea this next turn where guys are and start to target toward Opening Day."

Saunders, who has gone 33-14 the past two seasons, said he hasn't been told when he'll open his 2010 season.

"We've got five quality arms that you can put anywhere," Saunders said. "It doesn't matter where I pitch or when I pitch, I just want to pitch. Honestly, I think we have one of the best rotations in baseball."

Saunders allowed five hits and a run in four innings Wednesday while working on tuning up his off-speed pitches. He typically works primarily with a power sinker and a changeup. He spent time on the disabled list with tightness in his forearm last season, but he said he hasn't experienced more than the usual soreness this spring.

"I'm excited about how I feel and excited where my stuff is right now," Saunders said.

Mark Saxon covers the Angeles for ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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