TEMPE, Ariz. -- Outfielder Mike Trout (viral infection, shoulder tendinitis) and catcher Chris Iannetta (sore elbow) got some much-needed playing time in a Triple-A game against the Rockies at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Wednesday.
Trout, the No. 3 prospect in baseball, went 1-for-4 and showed his legs are in shape by legging out a triple, scoring after drawing a walk and almost legging out an infield single. The 20-year-old still hasn't been able to throw, though, with manager Mike Scioscia saying Trout is still three to four days away from that, and he could be up to two weeks removed from appearing in a game as an outfielder.
Trout, who appeared in his first Cactus League game as a designated hitter on Wednesday, said he feels "perfectly fine to throw, but they want to make sure it's like 120 percent."
His chances of cracking the Opening Day roster were slim entering camp, and now it's pretty much impossible.
But at least Trout is now able to run around a little bit.
"It's just a step forward," Trout said. "I wasn't on the field for most of spring. Now I'm out there, getting at-bats. It's a plus."
Iannetta, who came out of Friday's game after a foul ball nicked his right elbow, did some throwing on Tuesday and threw out an attempted base stealer on Wednesday while appearing in his first game behind the plate since the incident.
Richards continues to make case for rotation
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels had an off-day on Wednesday, but the fifth-starter competition went on, with right-hander Garrett Richards getting another start, while the idle Jerome Williams watched another day go by without presenting his case.
Given Williams' success down the stretch last year, and Richards' inexperience, the elder Williams came into camp as the odds-on favorite for the final spot in the Angels' rotation. But Williams has stayed away from rigorous activity since straining his left hamstring on March 2, and manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday that he doesn't see him getting in his first game until Monday at the absolute earliest.
Unless Williams gets on track in the next few days, it appears Richards, the Angels' No. 3 prospect, could open up his season as the Angels' starter on April 15 at Yankee Stadium -- the place where he opened his Major League career on Aug. 10, 2011.
Richards, who gave up two runs in five innings while starting a Triple-A game under Scioscia's watch at Tempe Diablo Stadium, is currently trying to block those thoughts out. But he admitted, "It is exciting."
"I'm trying to show to them that I have been working hard and that I have committed myself to my craft," Richards said. "I'm happy with where I'm at right now and I'm just going to continue to improve and show them things that they might still have questions about. I don't know what they might be. I'm just going to continue to do what I do and go out there and pitch like I know how to pitch."
Scioscia previously said Williams would need a minimum of four starts to be ready by April 15, the first time the Angels need a No. 5 starter. If he starts appearing in games by Monday, that would leave Williams -- who, to his advantage, threw off the mound a lot this offseason -- the exact amount of time.
But everything will have to go right in order for Williams to beat the clock.
And if he doesn't, Richards could get the nod.
"We have a little time," Scioscia said. "All these guys, there's still work to be done. I'm sure that's going to be a late decision as to who that guy's going to be. We'll just see where it is."
Eric Hurley (who is out of camp), Brad Mills (who got hit hard Wednesday but has hurled 8 2/3 scoreless Cactus League innings) and Trevor Bell (who may have a better chance to make the club as a reliever) have all been mentioned as fifth-starter candidates. But Richards is the one who continues to start games, along with Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Ervin Santana and C.J. Wilson.
And if Williams doesn't return fast, that may continue.
"That's not my decision, so I just go out and do my thing," said Richards, who gave up six hits and a walk, while throwing around 75 pitches against the Triple-A Rockies. "Where I'm at right now, I'm happy. I've made some big strides as far as my delivery and stuff like that goes. I feel good with where I'm at right now."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.