If you’ve flown between John Wayne airport and Salt Lake City at any point this season, your odds of bumping into an Angels player are pretty high. The Angels have been busy burning a path from Anaheim to their Triple-A affiliate, having used 36 batters and 20 pitchers this season — both tied for second in the league.
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.
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.
Brasier was 0-1 with a 9.95 ERA in six spring games. The right-hander allowed 11 hits and seven runs, all earned, in six and one-third innings. He walked none and struck out five. Brasier spent all of last season at Salt Lake.
Enright had appeared in just two spring games, starting one. In two and two-thirds innings, he allowed eight hits, four runs (all earned), walked one and struck out one. The right-hander pitched all but three of his 32 games last season at the Triple-A level.
Kohn, 26, was under a bit of a microscope having missed all of 2012 to Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. His Cactus League was going fairly well until he allowed four runs (three earned) in the Angels’ 17-11 loss to Kansas City on Sunday.
Today the manager revealed his starters for Saturday’s split-squad games. Jerome Williams will start at Tempe Diablo Stadium against the Chicago Cubs, while Brad Mills will start against the San Francisco Giants in Scottsdale.
Mike Scioscia didn’t single out those starters by name, but the Angels’ manager did rule out his projected five starters from pitching in games for at least another week. The Angels open Cactus League play with split-squad games Saturday against the Cubs and Giants.
“The guys that we’re looking at, especially Weave [Jered Weaver], he doesn’t need to get started until somewhere around the first” of March, Scioscia said. “It would just be too long for him. He wouldn’t need it.”
The other four starters — Tommy Hanson, Joe Blanton, Jason Vargas and C.J. Wilson – were flat-out bad for stretches last season. Will Wilson snap back to his old self following elbow surgery? Can Hansen, Blanton and Vargas benefit from a change of scenery and a star-studded defense?
Those are the biggest questions facing the rotation, and maybe the team, going into camp. Unless there’s an injury, don’t expect the Angels’ five-man rotation to change in spring training.