ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Angels got some good news and potentially good news on their much-maligned pitchers on Friday.
Barring an unforeseen setback, Scott Downs will be activated tomorrow and Jordan Walden will be activated this weekend.
While Downs seems ready to go, Walden still had to go through a bullpen session with pitching coach Mike Butcher on Friday and will be reevaluated on Saturday.
Walden, who was the opening day closer, has been on the disabled list since July 15 with a strained right biceps while Downs has been out since July 28 with a left shoulder strain.
“Scott looks like he will be activated tomorrow, he’ll just play some catch today,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Jordan is working with Mike Butcher today and we’ll evaluate him tomorrow. Downs looks ready so unless something happens today he’ll be activated tomorrow.”
As bad as the bullpen has been this month (and they’ve been the worst in baseball), Scioscia said the bullpen needs the starters to help them out as well. The Angels' bullpen isn’t set up for the starter to not go at least seven innings, which has been a rarity outside of Jered Weaver recently.
“It’s going to be huge for us (to get Downs and Walden back) but it has to be paired with more effective starting pitching if it’s going to work,” Scioscia said. “We hope those two things will come together.”
In an effort to fix one of their starters, Dan Haren will not take the mound for the Angels again until a week from Saturday in Detroit.
Haren will use the time to work with Butcher on his mechanics and to get more comfortable after failing to complete four innings in each of this last two starts. On Thursday night he gave up five runs on seven hits to Tampa Bay in a 7-0 loss.
“Dan reviewed some tape and feels there’s some things in his release point that are a little different from where he was throwing even last year,” Scioscia said. “He’s going to try to get those things tuned… He thinks his arm slot has changed a little bit, just slightly, and he just wants to try to get back to where it needs to be.”
Monday’s day off will allow Haren the extra time off without requiring any of the starters to pitch on short rest.
“This is a mechanical thing,” Scioscia said. “I think when Dan is on, he can pitch deep into a game. He’s going to throw some pens with Butch and hopefully find a release point that’s going to give him the consistency he needs and get him ready for next Saturday in Detroit.”
Here are Friday’s lineups:
Desmond Jennings LF
B.J. Upton CF
Matt Joyce RF
Evan Longoria DH
Ben Zobrist SS
Jeff Keppinger 1B
Sean Rodriguez 3B
Ryan Roberts 2B
Jose Molina C
Mike Trout CF
Torii Hunter RF
Albert Pujols 1B
Kendrys Morales DH
Mark Trumbo LF
Alberto Callaspo 3B
Howie Kendrick 2B
Erick Aybar SS
Chris Iannetta C