Exciting and explosive offensive talent, good team speed, excellent team defense, a deep bullpen with several guys who can close, a good starting staff led by one of the league’s premier pitchers, and one of the game’s great managers – What could be the Angels’ single biggest weakness? Apart from injuries, which have hit so many teams with abandon this season, especially the Dodgers, yankees, Nationals, and more in addition to the Angels, the answer is of course Joe Blanton.
As the Angels sit in the American League West’s third spot, closer to the cellar than first at 27-35, the reason for that eight-games-under record is obvious. Blanton, coming into today’s game at Boston, is 1-9, and the team is 2-10 in games that he has started. Over their last 15 games, the team is 7-8, but if you remove Blanton’s two losses over that period, the team is above .500, at 7-6,
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|and at .500 for the season (26-26). Before today, for the season, Blanton compiled a 5.53 ERA and a WHIP of 1.62, as he has given up an astounding 103 hits (plus 13 walks) in 71-2/3 innings.
As I write this, Blanton has just been relieved after giving up back-to-back home runs to Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Mike Carp. For the game, he gave up seven runs in five innings, and the BoSox lead the Angels 7-3. His ERA is now at 5.87.
With the return to the team and the rotation of Jered
Weaver and Tommy Hanson, it is hard to believe that Mike Scioscia has kept Blanton as a regular starter, while demoting arguably the Angels’ most effective starter, Jerome Williams (4-2, 2.87, 1.12 WHIP), to the bullpen. Come on, Mike! Wise up. It’s time to dump Blanton and re-instate Williams to a starter’s role. You cannot afford even one more start from Blanton.