Trevor Bell’s third start of the season and eighth of his Major League career last Sunday was one the 23-year-old right-hander would like to forget. He gave up nine hits in 5 1/3 innings, yielding six runs, four earned, in a 9-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers.
After the game Bell was comforted by Angels starting pitchers Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Joel Pineiro and Scott Kazmir, who told him they went through the same struggles when they were young. Bell will now spend the next week or so listening to and watching his teammates while he tries to provide some relief in the bullpen until the next time the Angels need a fifth starter, which may not be until Aug. 21 when they play at Minnesota.
“Right now we’re going to put him in our pen through this week,” Scioscia said. “With the off day we’ll have a chance to get another arm in our pen with Trevor down there and keep the guys on regular rest for at least this turn and look into next week. I think it will help us in a couple of areas. It will give Trevor time to contribute in the pen and give us some length there and also keep the guys out there that we want on regular turns to keep throwing the ball.”
Right-handed pitchers Jason Bulger and Brian Stokes, who began their rehab assignments with Triple-A Salt Lake last week, are progressing, but Scioscia didn’t anticipate either reliever being brought up in the near future. Bulger, 31, was put on the disabled list on June 11 because of a right shoulder strain, and Stokes, 30, was put on the disabled list May 10 because of right shoulder fatigue.
“Jason Bulger and Brian Stokes are both moving forward,” Scioscia said. “In both cases they’ve been out for an extraordinary amount of time. So to rebuild them and get them to where they need to be is going to take some time. They are getting stronger, they are getting better but there’s still some work they need to do.”
Another pitcher currently in the minors who could help the Angels is Matt Palmer, who threw four no-hit innings as a starter last week in Salt Lake. The Angels are trying to stretch him out to be available as a starter at some point, which may come later this month if he continues to progress.
“Matt Palmer has come a long way from where we saw him and he’s throwing the ball very well down there and is increasing his length with every start and is pitching at a level that is higher than anything he showed in spring training,” Scioscia said. “We need length from him and he’s certainly in our depth chart as a starter and we’ll have to get him stretched out to that length but it doesn’t mean that there won’t be a spot if we needed some length in the pen also.”
No Time To Rest
Maicer Izturis is no stranger to the disabled list. The Angels’ 29-year-old third baseman has made two trips to the DL so far this season and has only played in 49 games this year. Since coming off the disabled list on July 18, however, he’s played in every game for the Angels and has started the past 16 games. His durability hasn’t gone unnoticed by Scioscia who has been careful not to push him too hard.
“He has been playing a lot and that’s something we talked to him about the other day to make sure he’s still fresh and sharp and a day off Thursday will certainly help,” Scioscia said. “He feels good and he’s been swinging the bat well. You want him to keep it going but something you have to keep in tune with especially with him missing some time earlier.”