A shuffle in the Angels' rotation looms with the activation of Tommy Hanson and Jered Weaver.
By RAHSHAUN HAYLOCKFS West
LOS ANGELES — The eloquent voice of the Dodgers, Vin Scully, pointed out to the Dodger Stadium crowd on Tuesday that Angels starter Joe Blanton was much better throughout his career after the All-Star break as opposed to before the break.
Scully noted Blanton was just getting warmed up.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he feels Blanton has started to turn the proverbial corner.
Speaking for himself, Blanton says with the exception of his first three starts of the season, he’s thrown the ball well.
“I felt like for the most part I’m throwing the ball like I want to,” Blanton said. “I’ve felt like I’ve thrown the ball well even though sometimes results or hits or runs don’t look that way.”
Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium was one of those nights. Blanton made his fifth quality start of the season but didn’t get the result to show for it as the Angels lost 3-0 at Chavez Ravine for the second consecutive night. For Blanton, it was his eighth loss in 11 starts.
For a team and a pitching staff that has had so many issues and been in search of arms at certain times during the season, Scioscia has a different problem on his hands – six healthy starting pitchers at his disposal.
With reliever Sean Burnett being sent to the disabled list on Tuesday with a “left elbow impingement,” starter Tommy Hanson was activated from the restricted list. Ace Jered Weaver is scheduled to be activated from the disabled list before the start of Wednesday’s game in Anaheim. C.J. Wilson, Jason Vargas, and Jerome Williams are all healthy and Scioscia hasn’t yet made up his mind of what his rotation will look like.
"There’s a lot of things that are still settling right now about where our rotation will be,” Scioscia said.
Of the six, either Blanton or Williams are most likely to move to the bullpen.
Blanton, for now, is safe in the starting rotation, according to the Angels skipper.
“He’s pitched strong baseball for us the last couple of outings,” Scioscia said following Tuesday’s 3-0 loss at Dodger Stadium. “I think that he’s made some adjustments and we’re going to need him as we keep moving forward.”
That doesn’t exactly mean it will be Williams returning to the bullpen either. Although he wouldn’t specify when, Scioscia said Williams will get the ball for at least one more start.
“Hopefully (we can see) a lot of what we’ve been seeing,” Scioscia said of Williams, who’s 3-1 this season as a starter and has given up two earned runs or less in four of five starts. “We got a lot of confidence in what Jerome can do.
“In the short term I think it’s a nice position to be in where you have so many guys pitching well.”