Spot starter Jerome Williams allowed two home runs in the Angels’ 8-4 loss Sunday. (Associated Press photo)
“Terrible” and “absolutely awful” are two ways to describe the Angels’ pitching staff. And those were suggested by their manager yesterday.
I could have cited a few more stats about the Angels’ staff in my game story from yesterday’s 8-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles and where they rank among the 30 teams, namely:
• Opponents’ on-base percentage .344 (29th)
• Opponents’ slugging percentage: .427 (25th)
• Opponents’ OPS: .770 (28th)
• Blown saves: 5 (t-23rd)
• Save percentage: 44.4 (t-29th)
• HR allowed: 39 (t-25th)
• Wild pitches: 17 (27th)
• WHIP: 1.48 (29th)
• Strikeouts per nine innings: 6.80 (24th)
• Strikeout-to-walk ratio: 1.70 (28th)
The Angels are among the worst in the league in nearly every pitching category. It’s almost hard to be this bad. And this is *after* two stellar complete-game efforts by Jason Vargas last week.
That’s why even Mike Scioscia isn’t pulling punches. It’s hard to be optimistic.
Nowhere to go but up, right?
Onto the bullet points:
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.
Angels left-hander Michael Roth will become the first pitcher drafted in 2012 to start a major-league game on Wednesday. (Getty Images).
Manager Mike Scioscia threw a bit of a curveball Tuesday night, naming Michael Roth his starter for the rubber match of the Angels’ series against Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.
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.
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.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website, the injury can occur when, in trying to break one’s fall, the force of the fall travels up the lower forearm bones and fractures the smaller bone (radius) in the forearm.
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.
Howie Kendrick fell a triple short of the cycle Thursday, which would be less impressive if:
a) he hadn’t singled, doubled and homered off major-league starters Clayton Kershaw and Ted Lilly;
b) Kershaw hadn’t also struck out seven batters in three innings.
Kershaw said after the game that his location was erratic. That was never more true than when Kendrick was in the batter’s box against the two-time National League ERA champ. His fifth-inning home run against Lilly was his first of the spring and it was a bomb, landing on the top of a grassy knoll just left of center field in a deep ballpark — Camelback Ranch is 420 feet to straightaway center and Kendrick’s ball definitely traveled farther.
That was the only Angel home run of the game. Kendrick had three of the 12 hits, and nine other players had one each. Here are a few more notes:
TEMPE, Ariz. — Jerome Williams knows his place on the Los Angeles Angels’ pitching staff. His job is to be ready for any role necessary.
Making his first spring training start since 2007, Williams allowed a home run to Luis Valbuena but little else Saturday as an Angels split squad was beaten 11-2 by the Chicago Cubs.
“I got the first homer out of the way,” Williams said. “It was a curve. (Valbuena) had to go down to get it and he did.”
In today’s notebook, I mused about the possible pitchers for the Angels this weekend, since Mike Scioscia is holding his projected starting rotation out of games until March.
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.
Barry Enright (Sunday vs. Oakland), Garrett Richards (Monday at Seattle in Peoria), A.J. Schugel (Tuesday vs. Arizona in Tempe) and Nick Maronde (vs. San Francisco in Tempe) will start the following games.
Some links to get you through the weekend: