Andrew Heaney said his bullpen session on Friday went well. It was Heaney’s second session since being sidelined with elbow inflammation. Heaney is working toward a rehab game in the minors before he can join the Angels rotation. …Scioscia’s reliever use in Thursday’s opener would seem to indicate that he’s beginning the year with Blake Parker as his preferred closer. He used Cam Bedrosian in the seventh and Jim Johnson in the ninth with the score tied. However, Scioscia would not commit to Parker. “It’s going to be fluid,” he said. …Johnson was greeted by loud boos when he took the mound at the Oakland Coliseum on Thursday. He said the got the same treatment the last time he pitched in Oakland, apparently because the fans remember his 7.14 ERA with the A’s in 2014. “It won’t be the last time,” he said with a chuckle. “I’m fine with it.” Johnson pitched a perfect inning. …Two Angels’ employees wore A’s uniforms before Friday’s game, part of a celebration of the 50 greatest A’s. Mike Gallego is the Angels’ director of player development, and Eric Chavez is a special assistant to the GM. “I warned Scioscia,” Gallego quipped, wearing the A’s jersey. “He said it was OK.” Now, thanks in part to an infusion of better prospects, Ward has dropped just out of the top 10 prospects.Ward has a .272 average and a .366 on-base percentage in his career in the minors. His .375 slugging percentage likely needs to improve if he’s going to be in the big leagues as a corner infielder, although many players develop power later.Eppler suggested the position move could help Ward reach the majors sooner, because now he will no longer have to deal with handling pitchers. Ward is likely to begin this season at Double-A.“Basically now he’s responsible for himself, his defense, his offense,” Eppler said. “I think he will focus on defense and go from there.”ALSOIan Kinsler, who had missed opening day with groin tightness, was in in the lineup for his Angels debut on Friday. Manager Mike Scioscia said Kinsler would likely get Saturday off, as they try to work him back in gradually. … OAKLAND — Taylor Ward, once one of the Angels’ top prospects as a catcher, is now a third baseman.Although Ward was in big league camp this spring as a catcher, he was moved to third base full time after getting sent to minor league game, General Manager Billy Eppler said on Friday.“Athletically, how he profiles is very similar to some of our high-end position players, so we feel that’s where he profiles the best,” Eppler said.Ward, 24, was the Angels’ top pick in the 2015 draft. At the time, they projected him as an above-average defensive catcher with potential to also have an offensive impact. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City tonight will consider repurposing funding for the River City Sculptures on Parade “People’s Choice” competition and utilize it for helping to install six life-size bronze figure sculptures at the new downtown arena. Since the inception of the Sculptures on Parade program, the city has allocated $15,000 for purchasing and installing the winner of the “People’s Choice” competition. Typically the sculptures are changed over to the new exhibit during early May, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that will not happen and last year’s exhibit will remain in place. As part of the multi-purpose arena project, the city had committed to installation expenses of bronze sculptures with an ice sports theme at the arena. Loveland Colorado artist Dee Clements made new castings specifically for the arena project. Under the proposal, the $15,000 People’s Choice award would be re-allocated for shipping the sculptures and for permanent installation expense, with the proposal eliminating the need for the expenses to come from the arena budget. The council meets at 7 o’clock tonight, officially at the Mason City Room of the Public Library but all council members will participate electronically. You can watch the meeting and see the agenda by heading to masoncity.net.