The Angels have used 20 pitchers this season and could soon hand the ball to a 21st.
One day after he allowed four runs in two innings in a spot start against the Kansas City Royals, Barry Enright was designated for assignment. That allowed the Angels to select the contract of Triple-A right-hander Billy Buckner and add him to the major-league roster Thursday.
The Angels also optioned Michael Roth to Double-A Arkansas and recalled Ryan Brasier from Triple-A Salt Lake for the second time this season.
The Angels expect to get relievers Sean Burnett and Kevin Jepsen back next week after both completed bullpen sessions Thursday at Angel Stadium.
Burnett, who’s been out since April 26 with stiffness in his left (throwing) forearm, is expected to pitch on a rehabilitation assignment this weekend, then return to the Angels as early as Tuesday for a home game against the Seattle Mariners. The Angels do not play Monday.
Jepsen, out since April 12 with a strained right shoulder, is also expected to head out for a rehab assignment but could need more than one appearance.
“Kevin’s been out a little longer, so it depends on how he does and how he responds,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Sean Burnett’s been out three weeks (as of Friday). It’s not that excessive, so hopefully he’ll be able to get away with just a little tuneup.”
Barry Enright doesn’t have outstanding Triple-A numbers, a long history of pitching out of the bullpen in the majors, or even much of a chance of sticking around with the Angels beyond this week.
What he does have is the ability to pitch multiple innings in relief, something the Angels desperately need to help a battered, taxed bullpen.
Enright was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday afternoon. He takes the place of right-hander David Carpenter, who was assigned to Salt Lake after allowing four runs in one-third of an inning in yesterday’s 11-3 loss to the Texas Rangers.
Enright is 1-2 with a 9.61 earned-run average in four starts this season for the Bees. He made three appearances with the Angels last year, all in relief; two were scoreless and the other saw him allow six runs in one inning against the Seattle Mariners.
Garrett Richards starts tonight against the Mariners.
Josh Hamilton is playing the Texas Rangers today.
When the Angels and Rangers hooked up in spring training, that was enough to capture a few headlines. When the Angels visited Arlington, Texas in the opening week of the season, it captured even more.
Today, the story wasn’t about Hamilton facing his old team. That’s old news.
The story was in a lineup card that saw Hamilton batting fifth for the first time as an Angel and for the first time since July 29-31 of last season. Mark Trumbo will bat cleanup and Albert Pujols remains the number-three hitter against the Rangers and left-hander Derek Holland.
Tommy Hanson was placed on bereavement leave on Monday, leaving the Angels without their scheduled starter for Wednesday’s game against the Texas Rangers — and maybe beyond. The reason for Hanson’s absence was not immediately disclosed.
The right-hander can miss between three and seven games under MLB rules. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he is leaning toward using Jerome Williams in Hanson’s place on Wednesday.
Williams, who threw three innings to close out the Angels’ 13-inning win over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday, said his availability will be determined “the next couple days, how I feel. If (asked to start), I’ll be ready.”
Monday, hours before the Angels were set to play the Rangers, Williams said his arm felt fine. He’s 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA in five appearances, all out of the bullpen. He was 6-8 with a 4.83 ERA in 15 starts for the Angels last season.
Hanson, who starred at Redlands East Valley High School and Riverside Community College, is 2-1 with a 4.24 earned-run average in three starts with the Angels. He would be eligible to return to the team as early as Monday, April 29, when the Angels visit the Oakland A’s. Coincidentally, that game is Hanson’s next scheduled turn in the rotation.
It’s easy to see Tommy Hanson’s glass as half-empty.
Opponents are hitting for a .294 average against the Angels’ No. 5 starter, who has allowed 20 hits and six walks in 17 innings this season. He hasn’t pitched into the seventh inning in an Angels uniform, yet averaged 100 pitches in each of his three starts.
It doesn’t help that Hanson, along with Jason Vargas and Joe Blanton, combined for a 1-6 record with a 7.36 ERA entering Friday’s series opener with the Detroit Tigers. Even Hanson’s six shutout innings in Friday’s 8-1 win over Detroit could still be viewed through the glass half-empty. He did allow 10 of 28 batters to reach base.
“I didn’t like how I got myself into those jams,” Hanson said. “But I did get myself out of them. Either way, I’m planning on making 30 to 33 starts this season. So, good or bad, I’ve got to move on.”
Was Saturday’s start reason to see the glass as half-full?
It appears a natural facet of his personality, but Luis Jimenez considers his antics in the dugout part of his job.
The Angels animated third baseman, filling in for the injured Alberto Callaspo, has evidently provided a lift to a clubhouse that is in need of a jolt.
“That’s part of my job too,” Jimenez said. “Wherever I am, I try to be the most fired-up guy there.”
The 25-year-old from the Dominican Republic is used to being the most fired up guy in Salt Lake City. Since being called up from Triple-A on April 12 to make his major league debut, he is hitting .474 and has scored six runs in six games, making an increasingly convincing case to remain with the parent club.
It was Torii Hunter’s return to Angel Stadium as a Detroit Tigers, but the Angels
found their offense, at least on this night, and won 8-1, including a 5-run eighth inning.
Angels improve to 5-10.