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Monday, September 5, 2011
Could Garrett Richards fix the bullpen?

By Mark Saxon

Things didn't go well the last time Garrett Richards tried to step up and help the Angels.

He struggled at Yankee Stadium in his debut, then injured his groin during his second major-league start. The 23-year old now has a second chance to impact this pennant race. He was activated before Monday's game and will pitch in relief the rest of this season.

With the Angels desperate for bullpen depth, Richards -- who throws in the mid-90s -- could become an important player in getting late-inning outs. With Fernando Rodney struggling, Richards or Bobby Cassevah has a chance to become the Angels' primary right-handed setup man.

"In a perfect world, you'd love to say, 'Go out there, get used to it and pitch,' but we might not have that luxury," Scioscia said."We'll see where games bring us."

Richards hasn't pitched in relief since his sophomore season at Oklahoma. He was the Sooners' closer during his freshman season. He views these final three weeks as a chance to set him up for a major-league role in 2012. He still considers himself a starter.

"I need to get experience and innings and they need to see me pitch," Richards said.

Here are lineups for Monday's game with the Seattle Mariners:

Seattle

1. Ichiro Suzuki RF

2. Brendan Ryan SS

3. Dustin Ackley 2B

4. Mike Carp LF

5. Justin Smoak DH

6. Adam Kennedy 1B

7. Kyle Seager 3B

8. Josh Bard C

9. Trayvon Robinson CF


Angels

1. Maicer Izturis 3B


2. Peter Bourjos CF


3. Howie Kendrick 2B


4. Torii Hunter RF


5. Mark Trumbo 1B


6. Vernon Wells DH


7. Mike Trout LF


8. Erick Aybar SS


9. Jeff Mathis C