The Angels announced early Thursday that ace Jered Weaver would skip his scheduled start and Wade LeBlanc would take his spot in the rotation. LeBlanc was initially slated to take the Saturday start for Matt Shoemaker, but with the AL West firmly clinched, the Angels were able to alter their plans in order to keep Weaver fresh for the first game of the postseason.
"Three starts is something that we won’t need from him," Scioscia said. "As the postseason starts it makes sense to keep him more regular and give him a little bit of extra rest right now. He’ll pitch on six days in Seattle on Friday and then be ready to open up the playoffs on Thursday."
Weaver will pitch Saturday at home and Friday in Seattle.
"There’s some inopportune times to have pitchers get hurt, we talked about Garrett (Richards), Tyler Skaggs and now Matt Shoemaker, so there’s areas where we’re thin," Scioscia said. "But we’re going to try and go hard these last 10 games and try to piece together as many wins as we can.
Some of the other starters also will get some reprieve with the division clinched. They won’t see too much, though, as the Halos – still the best team in baseball – want to lock up home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
"You look at how many games in a row Mike Trout has played, look at how many games in a row Erick Aybar has played and Albert (Pujols) and Howie (Kendrick), these guys absolutely need to catch their breathe," Scioscia said. "They’ll all be in there tomorrow again and I think it makes more sense to get everybody off their feet and let them exhale."