Angels back to a three-man bench, for now.

Tommy Hanson

Tommy Hanson starts for the Angels tonight against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Angels are carrying 13 pitchers and only three position players on their bench. The unusual configuration began 10 days ago, when pitcher Tommy Hanson was activated from the disabled list and infielder Brendan Harris was designated for assignment.

The Angels carried one extra pitcher for parts of the first half too, particularly when the bullpen was being overused by manager Mike Scioscia‘s standards. It was out of necessity — the Angels’ starting pitchers rarely lasted beyond six innings — and that’s the case again.

Garrett Richards threw 7 innings Thursday against Toronto, and Jerome Williams went 7 ⅔ innings Wednesday in Texas. Before that, Angels starters pitched 6 innings or more only three times in nine games.

“I’m more comfortable that way than being short on the pitching side,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Until we get our rotation — some guys — lengthened out, it was really important what Garrett (Richards) did last night and what Jerome (Williams) did the time before too, to try to reset some things and get guys where they need to be.”

Hanson is scheduled to make his 12th start of the season tonight, and just the third since he returned from the disabled list with a strained right forearm. In his last two outings, Hansen threw 5 ⅓ and 4 ⅔ innings, respectively. So there are some concerns about how deep into the game he’ll go. Scioscia said that Hanson’s pitch count will be “a little limited.”

Ideally, the Angels will go back to a four-man bench when Peter Bourjos (fractured wrist) is activated from the disabled list. That could be as soon as next week.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.