Haren will get time to fix delivery problems
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Angels pitcher Dan Haren, whose past two starts have been both ineffective and disappointing, will remain in the rotation but will miss one start on the team’s upcoming road trip.
Manager Mike Scioscia said Haren may have located a glitch in his delivery and will get some time to work on it before making his next start Aug. 25 in Detroit.
The Angels begin a six-game road trip Tuesday in Boston. The layoff will give the right-hander eight days off between starts.
“Dan reviewed some tape and feels there are some things in his release point that are different from when he was throwing last year,” Scioscia said Friday. “He’s going to try to get in tune with some of those.
“He thinks his arm slot has changed a little bit, and he just wants to get it back to where it needs to be.”
Haren gave up seven hits and five earned runs in 3 2/3 innings Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Rays in a 7-0 loss. In his previous start, against the Seattle Mariners, he exited with one out in the fourth, his shortest start since his rookie year in 2003.
Haren, 8-10 with a 4.90 ERA, has also surrendered 22 home runs in 22 starts this season after yielding 20 in 34 starts in 2011.
There was concern that Haren is still feeling the effects of a stiff lower back that put him on the disabled list from July 4-21, but he said he felt better physically in his past two starts than he did in his first three off the DL.
“I think he’s past the physical ailment,” Scioscia said. “This is a mechanical thing that could have arisen from trying to make some adjustments in his delivery to get a pitch in place when his back was bothering him.
“He’s going to throw some bullpens with (pitching coach Mike Butcher) and hopefully find a release point that’s going to give him the consistency he needs and get ready for Saturday in Detroit.”
Scioscia said left-hander Scott Downs, on the DL since July 28 with a shoulder strain, is on target to be activated Saturday. Downs has been one of the Angels’ most reliable relievers, although he struggled in several recent appearances.
If Downs returns to form, he would give the Angels much-needed help in a bullpen that has had trouble holding leads.
“As far as addressing some depth issues in the bullpen, it’s going to be huge for us,” Scioscia said. “But it has to be paired with more effective starting pitching. We’re hoping those two things will come together.”
Right-hander Jordan Walden returned from a rehab assignment in Salt Lake and was scheduled to throw in the bullpen Friday, but Scioscia gave no possible date for his return. Walden has been on the DL since July 15 with a strained right biceps.