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Lack of pitching depth stings Angels

The Sports Xchange
 
Lack of pitching depth stings Angels · Roster Report · Notes, Quotes
 

Starting pitching was supposed to be the Angels' greatest strength this season. Three days out of five -- when Jered Weaver, Dan Haren or Ervin Santana starts -- that remains true. But the Angels have had to do some juggling at the back end of their rotation.

Starters Joel Pineiro and Scott Kazmir are on the disabled list with Pineiro's shoulder woes the greater concern. The back stiffness that sent Kazmir to the DL might have been a convenient excuse to get the troubled left-hander out of the rotation.

But those moves have exposed the Angels' lack of depth in starting pitching (exacerbated last season when they traded several young pitchers in deals for infielder Alberto Callaspo and Haren).

Right-hander Matt Palmer was promoted to take Kazmir's turn Saturday and now the Angels are turning to righty Tyler Chatwood as a fill-in starter Monday against the Indians.

Chatwood, 21, is a well-regarded prospect but he has pitched just 6 2/3 innings above the Class AA level -- 5 2/3 innings in one start at Class AAA last year and one inning Saturday for Salt Lake. He was pulled after 18 pitches in that start in anticipation of the Angels' needs this week.

"We've called up guys from AA before," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said after Sunday's 3-1 win over the Blue Jays, referring specifically to Ervin Santana in May 2005.

"I don't think the age next to his name or where he's pitched means as much as what his makeup is. He really came on last year and pitched well for us this spring. We think he's ready for the challenge and will give us a chance to win every time out there as long as he's in the rotation."

Chatwood rose from A ball to that one start in Class AAA last season, primarily because of the vacancies caused by the trades. He had a 7.36 ERA with 15 hits allowed in 11 spring innings this year as a non-roster invitee to his first big-league camp.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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