The February 27th, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Morales won’t see game action until mid-March at the earliest, Mark Trumbo takes a grounder off the face, Aybar still hoping to work out a contract extension and much more…

The Story: Kendrys Morales won’t appear in any exhibition games until mid-March at the earliest.

The Monkey Says: This is encouraging in that the team is at least starting to talk about a return date, but it does raise the question of how much action he is going to need to see in live games before Scioscia is going to be OK with him in a MLB lineup.  It does sound like they aren’t really going to entertain the notion of Morales reporting to the minors for rehab work during the regular season though.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  Morales is still progressing in his running exercises, with the team scheduling him to start running with soft cuts this week.  This is close to the point where he suffered his setback last season.  Cross your fingers.

The Story: Mark Trumbo’s first week at third base was a bit rough, including a grounder to the face.

The Monkey Says: It sounds like it was just a fluke bounce and not so much him being a bad fielder.  He was lucky not to break his nose.  What is worth paying attention to more here is the report of his errant throws.  I’ve seen other interviews with the coaching staff where it has been hinted that his arm accuracy might be a problem.

The Story: Erick Aybar is still hoping for a contract extension and willing to negotiate one during the season if need be.

The Monkey Says: Very interesting.  He’s being pretty candid about wanting to stay with the team.  Most players who are dead-set on hitting the open market are unwilling to negotiate during the season, suggesting that Aybar might be willing to take a more team-friendly deal, assuming the team is wiling to offer him one.

The Story: Mike Scioscia had to take a sick day on Sunday.

The Monkey Says: Not one missed day in 13 years?  I’m guessing it had to have been a bad burrito.

The Story: Dan Haren and C.J. Wilson faced each other and both homered off each other in a college game in 2001.

The Monkey Says: I think it says something about each guy that Wilson remembers all the details but Haren just vaguely remembers that he probably won.

The Story: LaTroy Hawkins is happy that ex- teammate Ryan Braun won his PED suspension appeal.

The Monkey Says: Almost all MLB players are quite pleased with that turn of events, likely because Braun is the first person to ever win such an appeal.  They might want to tone down the rhetoric a little bit as it is still unclear whether or not Braun should be declared innocent.  His appeal was overturned on a technicality in the collection process, but not one that necessarily explains his why he tested positive.

The Story: Torii Hunter wants to play two or three more years.

The Monkey Says: As the article points out, Hunter previously declared he was only going to play for the Angels or retire, so this new statement is very much at odds with that because it is highly unlikely that the Halos bring him back in 2013.

The Story: The Angels signed veteran reliever Juan Rincon to a minor league deal but with no spring training invite.

The Monkey Says: Rincon was a pretty great middle reliever a few years ago, but then he drew a PED suspension and quickly faded out of the league.  He’s  Triple-A fodder at best.

The Story: Rich Thompson realizes that he is competing to keep his job in the bullpen this spring.

The Monkey Says: That kind of sucks.  Thompson put up a very strong line last season, but he never earned Scioscia’s trust.  He should remain a front-runner to win one of the final bullpen spots, but it wouldn’t be a major surprise if he somehow got bounced from the roster altogether.

The Story: Kevin Jepsen is finally healthy and hoping to work his way back into the bullpen.

The Monkey Says: Given how long he claims the knee had been bothering him, there is real hope that his new-found health could put him back on track to becoming a major part of the bullpen.  He profiles as the power arm they need, but given how badly he melted down last season (and that he has an option left), he might have to pay his dues iin the minors for a few weeks first.

The Story: Hank Conger realizes the pressure is on him for him to show he is a finished product, or close to it, or else.

The Monkey Says: The quotes from Scioscia are telling because he very much sounds like a manager that still isn’t sold on the progress Conger made.  I really don’t see how he is going to avoid starting the season in the minors.

The Story: Torii Hunter comes to Bobby Abreu’s defense.

The Monkey Says: I guess he has to have his teammate’s back in public, but hopefully he will talk to him in private and see to it that Bobby doesn’t make anymore waves in the media.

The Story: Jason Isringhausen already seems to be taking to the task of helping Jordan Walden handle the mental side of closing.

The Monkey Says: Well, that didn’t take long now, did it?

The Story: John Sickels releases his top 120 prospects, with Mike Trout at #3.

The Monkey Says: Segura and Richards made the list too, but no other Angels did despite the extra 20 slots.