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Friday, August 5, 2011
Takahashi ready to start

By Mark Saxon

Most signs point to veteran left-hander Hisanori Takahashi moving from the bullpen into the Angels' rotation, but the team still hasn't made the announcement.

Part of the issue is Jered Weaver's appeal of a six-game suspension, which he's expected to drop after tonight's start. If he does, the Angels can use Joel Pineiro's replacement in Weaver's spot without finding a second fill-in. Weaver could return to the rotation next Saturday in Toronto, meaning he'd be pitching on only three extra days of rest.

Takahashi, 36, was a starter for 10 seasons in Japan and pitched two six-inning shutouts for the Mets against the Yankees last season, one of which was at Yankee Stadium. It's doubtful the Angels would recall 23-year old Garrett Richards from Double-A to make his debut against one of baseball's best offenses at the most high-profile venue in the sport.

Takahashi said he enjoyed pitching at Yankee Stadium last season, because he was accustomed to watching games beamed back to Japan when Hideki Matsui was a Yankee. He said he could throw 100 pitches if necessary.

Meanwhile, Pineiro took his bullpen demotion in stride, despite the fact that it could cost him a lot of money. He is a free agent following this season.

"If I was young, I'd probably be throwing things around and yelling at people. Now, I'm too old for that," Pineiro said. "I've been around long enough. Like I said, I would really be worried if I wasn't healthy."

Here are the lineups for Thursday's game, with Weaver going for his 15th win against the 48-62 Seattle Mariners:

Seattle

1. Ichiro Suzuki RF

2. Jack Wilson SS

3. Dustin Ackley 2B

4. Mike Carp 1B

5. Adam Kennedy 3B

6. Miguel Olivo C

7. Casper Wells DH

8. Franklin Gutierrez CF

9. Trayvon Robinson CF

Angels

1. Erick Aybar SS

2. Bobby Abreu DH

3. Torii Hunter RF

4. Vernon Wells LF

5. Howie Kendrick 2B

6. Mark Trumbo 1B

7. Alberto Callaspo 3B

8. Peter Bourjos CF

9. Jeff Mathis