Angels’ Starting Staff Still a Couple Short

With C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver each in top form, and with Tommy Hanson off the DL and back in the rotation, you’d think the Angels’ starting staff was in decent shape for a late season run. Think again.

The other two guys who’ve been starting the bulk of games this season have been a disaster, and not much help seems to be on the horizon. As I’ve repeatedly written, there is no excuse for Joe Blanton (2-13, 5.66) to be on a major league roster, but the reality is that while he has now, finally, been removed from the rotation, he has started 20 games for the



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Angels this season, with the team 4-16 in those games. Jerome Williams did well for the Angels last year, and started the season in that same groove. But what a few weeks he has had! On June 7, he was 4-2 with a 2.56 ERA. He is now 4-6 and his ERA has ballooned to 4.85, having given up an astounding 38 runs in his last 42 innings.

Garrett Richards is now getting another shot to start, replacing Blanton, but there is no one else around that can step into the rotation for Williams. The health problem and surgery that Jason Vargas had was a major blow. He last pitched June 17, and threw

from a mound for the first time since on July 23. Hopes are that he may be back with the team before the end of August, but I’m not holding my breath.

Garrett Richards has been an enigma, but with his mid-to-high 90s two and four seam fastballs, two breaking pitches, and change-up, he has serious untapped talent, and hopefully one of these days he will click, and become a winner. Lifetime to date, however, he is 4-5 with a 4.92 ERA over all through 16 here-and-there starts over parts of three big-league seasons.

If the Angels are to make any kind of run to the playoffs over the last two months, they need Richards to click NOW and give the team a fourth reliable starter. Who knows where a fifth starter could come from.

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