Recently, Angels skipper Mike Scioscia told the Los Angeles Times, "What we've seen we've definitely liked. If he wasn't doing the job defensively, this would be a moot point. But he is and that's giving him an opportunity to get a little more playing time."
He was talking about Huntington Beach's own Hank Conger, who is finding himself starting behind home plate more and more.
I spoke with Conger in 2008. Then, the up-and-coming catcher was about to return to Arizona for some rehab work before heading off to play either with the Cedar Rapids Kernels or with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. He had just arrived home after experiencing his first major-league training camp, and he recounted it for me with the zeal and enthusiasm not just of a young player — but as a fan, as well.
"The guys were just amazing," Conger said. "Jeff Mathis and Mike Napoli gave me lots of time and tips in terms of catching. And I also got to work with Mike Scioscia, which was amazing."