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: