Angels' C.J. Cron Is Rehabbed And Ready





LOS ANGELES—The Angels are optimistic that last year's first-round draft pick, C.J. Cron, will not be hampered in 2012 by the knee and shoulder injuries that clouded his professional debut last summer.

Cron suffered a dislocated patella while swinging at a pitch in August for Rookie-level Orem and had surgery to repair the damage. Cron's recovery from that surgery is "right on track," farm director Justin Hollander said.

Cron recently met with minor league training coordinator Geoff Hostetter and was scheduled to have his knee re-examined. That checkup was expected to be routine, with Cron getting cleared for baseball activity well before minor league spring training opens in March.

Meanwhile, Cron has managed to avoid surgery on a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Cron played his final season at Utah with the injury. After drafting him 17th overall last June, the Angels expected him to need surgery following his debut. But Cron, 22, has aggressively rehabilitated the injury and the Angels "are not anticipating any surgery" will be necessary, Hollander said.

Cron hit .308/.371/.629 with 13 home runs in 143 at-bats with Orem but was limited to DH. The Angels expect him to be ready for first base in 2012, most likely with high Class A Inland Empire.

"C.J. is an advanced college hitter who controls the strike zone well, has tremendous power and a great work ethic," Hollander said. "We'll allow C.J. to dictate his own progress."

ANGEL FOOD

n The Angels hired Mike LaCassa as manager of minor league operations. After serving as an intern in the Rangers' player-development department, LaCassa spent the past two years as an assistant in player development and Arizona operations for the Rangers.

n The Angels signed veteran infielder Jorge Cantu and minor league outfielder Doug Deeds to minor league contracts with non-roster invitations to spring training.