Mike Scioscia is an unapologetic hockey fan who loves to reminisce about the Philadelphia Flyers’ Stanley Cup titles in 1974 and ’75. There’s been one hockey rule the skipper always has been fond of, and as the Angels approach roster expansion, it’s a rule that he thinks baseball should embrace.
"The one idea that I’ve really backed is the idea almost like hockey, when you call up and expand your roster to 37 but every given night you can only dress 30," the Angels’ manager said. "I think you would lock the roster in as of September 1, those guys would have to dress every day, and then out of the added guys you have five guys that could dress on any given night and I think that would make it a little more equitable for match-ups."
When rosters expand in September, some teams go to a 30-man roster and some expand all the way to 40. Going to an NHL format would level the playing field and eliminate some of the match-up nightmares that occur in September.
"Part of the strategy of the game is, if you can flush your bench out early, you might have match-ups later in the game you’ll use," Scioscia said. "That’s virtually impossible to do after September 1."
Scioscia only is advocating for what expansion that takes place post-September 1.
"Just for competitive balance, you should dress the same amount of guys and it should be regulated by the league," he said.
How the Angels won (08/29): Weaver throws seven innings of scoreless baseball
Keeping with the hockey theme, Scioscia channeled his Anaheim counterpart all week, declining to name a starter for Saturday’s game against Oakand until after Friday night’s game.
When the Ducks faced the Kings this year in the Western Conference Semifinals, head coach Bruce Boudreau declined to name the starting goaltender throughout the series. He played coy with the media and juggled two and even three goalies during the morning skates. All of them would come off the ice at the same time.
Wade LeBlanc filled Garrett Richards’ spot Monday night, but he was sent to Triple-A. Saturday’s starter was a mystery until after Friday night’s game when Scioscia finally named Cory Rasmus.
But the four days of speculation was somewhat entertaining. One by one, names were crossed off the list. Randy Wolf or Drew Rucinski both made their respective starts in Triple- and Double-A on Friday night, the same night it was announced that Chris Volstad would sit out the remainder of the Triple-A season with a sore elbow.
Michael Roth was thought to be en route from Double-A Arkansas at one point, but he is scheduled to pitch there Saturday.
Angels junior reporter, Carter, talks to Hector Santiago
"We have a pitcher," Scioscia said before the game. "Nothing has changed from what we talked about yesterday, I think we want to see how our game goes tonight. We should know after tonight."
Hector Santiago will be available out of the bullpen Saturday only in an emergency. Santiago isn’t scheduled to pitch again until next week.
Two weeks ago, Josh Hamilton made headlines when he asked for a "mental" day off. But now, the slugger no longer is struggling. He’s hitting .294 with nine RBIs and two home runs and is making spectacular defensive plays while he’s at it.
One in particular bailed out Weaver in the fifth inning Friday night. With two on and only one out, Hamilton tracked the ball down, diving completely outstretched to make the sliding catch in foul territory.
"It got us motivated for the next inning," Weaver said. "Just when you think that he wasn’t going to get there he kind of takes a couple extra strides to get to the ball and it was a great play.
Whatever mental refreshing Hamilton did, it seems to be working.