TEMPE, Ariz. “The Catch” will no doubt follow Gary Matthews Jr. forever but what nobody saw was the preparation it took to create a mere 10 seconds of baseball immortality. Matthews said there was much more that went into his July 1 catch of a drive off the bat of the Houston Astros’ Mike Lamb than just a guy who got a good jump. “They’ve already acclimated themselves in some drills and what they’ve done with defensive work,” Scioscia said. “The amount of playing time they’ll get during the spring will be fine for understanding range and positioning. “Those guys will integrate pretty quickly.” Said Matthews: “Every spring training is big in order to get your timing down but there will be a little bit more to this spring and playing with Garret and Vlady. They have their own thing. I heard they don’t like to play a whole lot during spring training but we’ll go out and make plays. That’s what we do.” Matthews’ presence is expected to help the Angels cut down on the 23 outfield errors they made last season. “There were some breakdowns and part of it was getting an understanding of range in center with (Chone Figgins) really being inexperienced to Vlad’s knees starting to bother him a little bit toward the latter portion of the year, which affected his range,” Scioscia said. Rotation newsJohn Lackey and Kelvim Escobar each will pitch Tuesday when the Angels conduct an intrasquad game. Ervin Santana is in line to start the Cactus League opener Thursday against the Kansas City Royals. The schedule gives an inside peek at the regular-season rotation, something Scioscia has refused to disclose. If Lackey starts on Opening Day, as expected, it appears as if he will be followed by Escobar and then Santana. Joe Saunders and Jered Weaver would assume the final two spots of the rotation. With Weaver behind schedule because of biceps tendinitis, it is likely he would take the No. 5 spot in the rotation to give him more recovery time. Colon updateBartolo Colon’s progress on flat ground would put him on schedule for throwing at least live batting practice or pitching in a simulated game before spring training ends. His return, though, still would be sometime in May at the earliest and more likely June. “I think it’s unlikely that he pitches in a Cactus League game but it wouldn’t surprise me; there is a possibility,” Scioscia said. “He might be at the early end of his stepping up where he leaves the rehab scene and now he’s getting ready for the season.” Santana on sliderSantana said the addition of a dependable slider will help him get even better this season. Having two years of experience in the major leagues also will play a role. Santana had 12 victories in 2005 and 16 last season, while his ERA fell from 4.65 as a rookie to 4.28 a year ago. Santana, who turned just 24 in December, said he has set even loftier goals for this year but won’t discuss them publicly. Santana said he still has the same grip on his slider but he is working on finishing the pitch better than he did last season when it had a tendency to act like a hanging curveball. “It will help a lot because last year my slider was not that good and I think this year it will be a lot better,” Santana said. “I’ll have more experience and I know a little bit more about the hitters. I think my stuff gets better and better every year.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! To make such a play in an Angels uniform, Matthews isn’t worried so much about getting used to the dimensions of Angel Stadium. There are other more pressing concerns. “It’s important to know the places you play in but it’s probably more important to know your own pitching staff and to know your two corner outfielders,” Matthews said about being a Gold Glove-caliber center fielder. “We have scouting reports on all the hitters that come up but I have to have an idea of the velocity our pitcher has and the scouting report on a specific hitter. “The field comes into play but not as much as knowing your pitchers and the scouting reports of the different hitters and knowing your corner outfielders.” That would mean that playing with Garret Anderson and Vladimir Guerrero this spring will be paramount, but manager Mike Scioscia isn’t going to overwork his veteran corner outfielders. In his third year as an outfielder for the Texas Rangers it certainly helped Matthews that he knew his own ballpark well. Matthews raced back to the center field wall and leaped against the padding while putting his right hand on top of the wall for support. While propping his body well above the yellow stripe, Matthews made the catch with his back to home plate. He then spun around, landing on the warning track with the ball held aloft.