With four starting pitchers on the disabled list, the Los Angeles Angels remain determined to patch their holes from within and will promote right-hander Matt Palmer from Triple-A Salt Lake to start Thursday night's game against Detroit.
Which means, for now, you can forget about the few scraps still out there on the free agent market such as Pedro Martinez. And behind him, neither Paul Byrd nor Mark Mulder should be waiting by their telephones.
"There are obvious free agents out there," Angels general manager Tony Reagins says. "Pedro's representative (Fern Cuza) reached out to me a couple of weeks ago. Since then, there hasn't been any contact."
Nor, Reagins said, are the Angels anywhere close to signing a free agent despite the fact that ace John Lackey, Ervin Santana, Dustin Moseley and Kelvim Escobar are on the DL. The Angels also are still recovering from the death of starter Nick Adenhart, who opened the season in the rotation, in a tragic traffic accident two weeks ago.
"There is nothing imminent," Reagins said when asked if there are plans to go outside the organization for help. "We're confident in the players we have in house. I want to be clear on that.
"Right now, we're not playing as good as we can. We can play much better. We're trying to re-set our bullpen. Our starting pitching has been fine.
"We're 13 games in. We're not pushing any panic buttons. We have some talented players. We're very confident."
The Angels gave a spot start to reliever Darren Oliver on Saturday in Minnesota. But manager Mike Scioscia said before Wednesday's game against Detroit that Oliver was "still a little stiff" from that start and that the club did not want to push him any harder with another start.
Besides, despite so many starting pitchers out, the Angels cannot afford to dip into their bullpen for spot starters because they need all hands on deck there. Los Angeles' 7.85 bullpen ERA is the worst in baseball.
Originally selected by San Francisco in the 31st round of the 2002 draft, Palmer has three big league starts on his resume, all last year. He went 0-2 with an 8.53 ERA for the Giants in 2008. In 12 2/3 innings, opponents batted .333 against Palmer last year. He walked 13 and struck out three.