When is a one-way ticket to the bullpen a good thing for a starting pitcher?
When it’s the Angels, of course, where sorting out roles on the pitching staff has been a season-long task — an unenviable one, too, for manager Mike Scioscia and pitching coach Mike Butcher.
Their latest solution? Move Garrett Richards, who went 1-2 with a 5.44 earned-run average in four starts this season, back to the bullpen, where he’s allowed just one run in four appearances this season. Richards was scheduled to start Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles but will be replaced by Jerome Williams. He seemed to take the news well.
Jered Weaver ducks out of the way of Mitch Moreland’s line drive Sunday in Arlington, Texas. Weaver suffered a non-displaced radial head fracture of his left elbow while bracing his fall. (Still frame of video shot by ESPN)
The Angels will be without their best pitcher for the next month and maybe beyond.
The team announced Tuesday that right-hander Jered Weaver broke his left elbow while trying to get out of the way of a line drive in Sunday’s game against the Texas Rangers. Weaver was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Sunday and right-hander Dane De La Rosa was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake.
The non-displaced radial head fracture will cost Weaver at least four weeks.
David Carpenter could be on the bubble for one of the Angels’ final bullpen jobs … or not. (Getty Images)
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said his pitching staff “will have a more situational look in the bullpen” when the regular season begins. It’s not hard to figure out what that means, as there are 15 pitchers currently in camp and 12 will start the season on the active roster.
If it were a regular-season game, you’d be talking about it tomorrow. Josh Hamilton’s first game against the Rangers was overshadowed by a lot of things: a walkoff hit, a four-homer inning, a complete implosion by Jerome Williams and — stop the presses — three damn fine throws from behind home plate by Hank Conger.
But since it’s only spring training (checking my watch, yup, one more week…) it’s getting the postgame bullet-point treatment for posterity.
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.