LA Pitching News, Good and Bad

First, the good, and that means that the Angels have finally bitten the bullet and dumped Joe Blanton. The other day I wrote about seeing with disbelief how Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia wasted valuable tune-up innings by letting Blanton continue to start spring training games. Well, that is over now, forever, as Blanton and his 2-14 won-lost record and his 6.04 ERA will be looking elsewhere for regular season innings.

Nick Maronde, who has had a fine spring, should be next in line for the starting rotation with Blanton gone. Hopefully, Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago will all meet expectations and the Angeles will only have occasional need for a sixth starter, but



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should one of them falter, Maronde deserves the opportunity.

Now, for the bad news. There has been no statement released as to the cause for the problem, but the Dodgers’ long, long flights to and from Australia HAVE to be a factor in Clayton Kershaw being scratched from Sunday’s start due to an inflamed Teres muscle in his back. The inflammation was detected in an MRI Keshaw underwent due to pain, but he did say he did not believe that the injury was serious and that he looked at the situation as having his next start merely moved back rather than scratched.

With the empty uniform non manager Don Mattingly saying that Zack Greinke would start the season’s fourth game, and second in the United States, on Tuesday, and not be moved up to Kershaw’s spot on Sunday, that leaves Dan Haren as the default starter on Sunday, unless Hyun-Jin Ryu makes a miracle recovery from his toe injury that just a day or two ago was said to be painful enough to keep him from making his first start on Wednesday.

In a couple of other player moves, one-time Dodgers’ closer Javy Guerra was signed by the White Sox and Seth Rosin, who had an impressive spring for the Dodgers but for whom there was no possible roster spot, was claimed by Texas. A year ago at this time, the Angels had high hopes for free agent signee Tommy Hanson who was slotted in the middle of their rotation. After a disastrous year

LT

in which he made only 13 starts and compiled a 5.42 ERA, he was let go and picked up by the Rangers, who had penciled him in for their fifth spot. Well, that didn’t last long as he was also cut yesterday.

Finally, speaking of releases, it was sad to see the Angels also release Chad Tracy. He had a good spring and seemed to be close to winning a roster spot. Hopefully he will find a major league job elsewhere, or maybe make it up to the Angels later in the season. A big surprise was the club also releasing veteran power hitter Carlos Pena, who had figured to back up Albert Pujols at first and occasionally get the nod at DH.

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