The Angels will temporarily employ a six-man rotation. Then what?

Jered Weaver C.J. Wilson

Jered Weaver (left) and C.J. Wilson (center) are assured of spots when the Angels go back to a five-man rotation (Getty Images).

Save the date: June 7.

That’s when the Angels will begin a six-game road trip through Boston and Baltimore. It’s also the next time the Angels will employ a five-man rotation.
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Tommy Hanson’s head is clear, arm is ready for possible Friday start.

Tommy Hanson

Angels right-hander Tommy Hanson admitted Tuesday he wasn’t right mentally in his last start. (Associated Press)

Major League Baseball’s bereavement leave is limited to a maximum of seven days, but sometimes seven days isn’t enough.

That was the case for Angels pitcher Tommy Hanson, who made two starts after the death of his stepbrother in April. The first was in Oakland and Hanson pitched well, allowing one run in six innings. The second was at home against Baltimore on May 4 and it didn’t go so well. Hanson allowed seven hits and three runs in five innings, and the Angels went on to lose 5-4.

“Chris (Iannetta) came out and asked if I felt all right,” Hanson said. “Everyone said I looked like a zombie. I felt like one too. They wanted me to step away, get right and not rush anything.”

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Daily Distractions: How bad is the Angels’ pitching?

Jerome Williams

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:
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Garrett Richards is going back to the Angels’ bullpen, Jerome Williams will start Sunday.

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.

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