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OC Register: Angels’ Justin Anderson breaks out a splitter this spring

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TEMPE, Ariz. — Add Justin Anderson to the list of Angels pitchers experimenting with a new pitch.

Anderson said Thursday morning that he’s been throwing a splitter this spring, to add to his devastating slider and 98 mph fastball.

“I feel like it’s coming out good,” Anderson said. “I’ve taken to it pretty well. I keep messing with different ways of holding it in my hand, switching the ball up one way or another or a lace here or there. How deep I want it, how loose I want it. I think it’s been a pretty successful pitch so far.”

Besides the new pitch, Anderson also has tweaked his delivery to be more consistent in the strike zone. Last year, he had 26 walks in 53 innings.

Anderson has allowed one run in six innings this spring, with seven strikeouts. He threw two innings Wednesday night.

Cam Bedrosian has also started throwing a splitter this spring, while Tyler Skaggs scrapped the new pitch he was trying because it wasn’t working well enough. He also fatigued his forearm, resulting in a missed start, from working on the pitch. He’s since been cleared and he will pitch in a minor league game Friday.

TROUT AND THE DERBY

The newly announced agreement between MLB and the union includes a $1 million prize for the winner of the Home Run Derby during All-Star week.

Mike Trout has never participated in a Home Run Derby.

“Everyone wants a million bucks,” Trout said Thursday morning. “I don’t know if it changes my thought process of it. I haven’t even thought about it.”

THE OHTANI RULE?

Starting next year, there will be yet to be determined limits on the number of pitchers a team can have on its roster. However, a team can classify a player like Shohei Ohtani as a two-way player, so he does not count against the pitcher limit. Ohtani will qualify as a two-way player after he’s pitched 20 innings and appeared in 20 games as a position player or DH. Since he’s not pitching this year, that won’t happen before sometime in April 2020.

The Angels could have a further advantage if Jared Walsh or Kaleb Cowart make the big leagues as two-way players.

ALSO

Ohtani returned to his normal routine of hitting soft toss Thursday, a day after only throwing and not hitting. Ohtani has been adding elements to his rehab on Fridays, but Ausmus said there will be nothing new this Friday. Ohtani still has to progress to batting practice in the cage against a coach throwing overhand, then batting practice on the field, then live batting practice. …

Justin Upton (knee tendinitis) took some at-bats in a minor league game Thursday. Upton has not played in a Cactus League game, but he could be ready early next week. …

Keynan Middleton (Tommy John surgery) and Nick Tropeano (shoulder discomfort) are both still doing long toss, unable yet to throw off a mound.

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3 minutes ago, AngelsLakersFan said:

Anderson needs to work on finding a pitch he can throw in the strike zone without getting killed.

Maybe he should try a splitter? (LOL!)

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