Quinlan feels fortunate to be back with Angels

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TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Utility outfielder Robb Quinlan didn't expect to return to Los Angeles this season but an unsuccessful free-agency stint landed him back with the Angels.

"Up until a couple of weeks ago, I didn't think I was coming back," Quinlan said.

Quinlan does feel fortunate to have returned, however. He thought he was going to sign with his hometown Minnesota Twins, but any deal fell through when the Twins opted to sign Jim Thome.

Quinlan, a corner outfielder and infielder, has had his moments in an Angels uniform. He hit .344 in 160 at-bats in 2004 and .321 in 234 at-bats in 2006.

For his career, he's a .281 hitter but his at-bats on an Angels team that reloads every year have gone down every year over the past three seasons. He had 115 last year, the lowest since his rookie season.

"It definitely would have been fun to go back to (Minnesota), playing for a hometown team," Quinlan said. "But this is all I've known my whole career. I've been here a long time and I'm definitely excited to be back and happy to be back here.

"I realized this would probably be my best fit to make a major-league team. There are a lot of new players. There are a lot of good players here. I'm just going to go out and play hard and see what happens."

Quinlan is believed to be one of six or seven players vying for four open roster spots, depending on whether Angels manager Mike Scioscia keeps 11 or 12 pitchers.

NOTES: First baseman Kendry Morales took ground balls Wednesday for the first time after finally arriving at camp late Tuesday. Morales, a native of Cuba who enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2009, hitting 34 homers and driving in 108 runs, had been out of camp waiting on U.S immigration paperwork to clear. ... Angels starters Ervin Santana and Joe Saunders each worked one inning in Wednesday's intra-squad game at Tempe's Diablo Stadium, a final tune-up before the Angels begin their spring schedule Thursday at home against the Chicago White Sox.

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