The Anaheim Angels and injuries have seemed to go hand-in-hand over the past few years, with the majority of the problems hitting the pitching staff. This spring, however, it has been the infield that has been hit the hardest, and that will have a big effect on the Salt Lake Stingers' roster to open the season. On the plus side, the Angels are deep in infield talent, giving the Stingers a solid group from corner to corner with a couple of more moves expected from the parent club.

Slugging first baseman Mo Vaughn is out for the season after surgery to repair a ruptured biceps tendon in his left arm, which set up a battle in training camp for that position won by former BYU star Wally Joyner. The Stingers will have a pair of solid first basemen that will also DH. Larry Barnes hit .257 for Edmonton last year, but was hampered by a wrist injury during the second half of the season. Once healthy, he led the Arizona Fall League with a .355 average. Barnes hit just seven home runs last year, but he has hit as many as 27 in a season. Veteran Chris Pritchett returns to the Angels' organization after one year with the Phillies. He has hit just .221 in the majors, but has been a solid AAA star since 1995 with Vancouver.

The Angels projected double-play combination of Gary DiScarcina at shortstop and Adam Kennedy at second base will begin the season on the disabled list with a rotator cuff injury and broken hand respectively, but Salt Lake should be solid in those areas. At 22, Wilmy Caceres is considered an excellent prospect at short, particularly on defense, where he was regarded as second among best defensive infielders in double-A in a survey of managers last season. He can also provide a threat on the base paths with 120 stolen bases in his first four pro seasons. At second, Justin Baughman will continue his comeback from a serious leg injury that cost him the entire 1999 season after playing 63 games for the Angels in 1998. In his return in 2000, he struggled at the plate at AAA, batting .234 in 80 games for Edmonton and just .227 in 16 games for the Angels, but he did steal 42 bases.

Third base will be anchored by Jose Fernandez to start the season. He was signed as a free agent from the Milwaukee organization, where he hit .286 for the AAA World Series champion Indianapolis Indians with 11 homers and 68 RBIs. Chuck Abbott is also on the roster at this time after two full seasons for AA Erie, hitting .239 and .248 respectively.

The Stingers roster has just one catcher at this time with another move to be made. Kevin Lidle has handled the duties behind the plate this spring for Salt Lake. Lidle has just 15 games of AAA experience with Colorado Springs and Las Vegas, hitting .273 with two home runs and six RBI. He hit .220 last season in 29 games at Erie.

Notes: The Stingers game with Tacoma was canceled Saturday as both teams were left short-handed by their parent clubs for exhibition games. Salt Lake will play the Iowa Cubs thisafternoon.

1996 PCL Most Valuable Player Steve Mintz will open the season at extended spring training nursing a sore arm. Mintz was 4-4 with Edmonton last season with two saves but an ERA of 7.56. Mintz has pitched in the PCL for Phoenix, Las Vegas, Nashville and Edmonton. In '96, he had a league-leading 27 saves for the Firebirds. Stingers outfielder Scott Morgan and his wife, Claudia, both played college basketball at Gonzaga.

The team will hold a meet-and-greet open house at Franklin Covey Field Wednesday beginning at 5:30. The Stingers will then head to Oklahoma City on Thursday morning for the season opener that night.