Print and Go Back Los Angeles Angels [Print without images]

Saturday, July 7, 2012
Pitching problems are adding up

By Mark Saxon

ANAHEIM -- The fact that lefty Brad Mills will be recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake to start Sunday's game against the Baltimore Orioles clues you in quickly to the state of the Angels' rotation.

Mills, the 27-year old the Angels acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays for catcher Jeff Mathis, isn't exactly on fire: He's 1-2 with a 7.66 ERA in his past five outings and he has battled some tendinitis in the last month.

But with Dan Haren and Jerome Williams on the disabled list, the Angels didn't have many places to turn short of the trade market, where the price for starting pitchers can be exorbitant. The situation is only slightly sunnier for after the All-Star break. It could be hold-your-breath time when anyone other than Jered Weaver or C.J. Wilson is starting.

Scioscia says Williams will return to the rotation after the break. He will have missed more than three weeks after having to be hospitalized for difficulty breathing after his June 18 start. He made two rehab starts for Triple-A Salt Lake and was hit on the right forearm by a line drive in one of them, but came back to pitch six solid innings Friday night.

He said he didn't have any further problems with his breathing or with excessive anxiety.

"They told me to know where my heart rate is, to work on my breathing and not panic," Williams said. "I just have to monitor that and do a job."

The Angels also will need a fifth starter after the break since their next off day isn't until July 26. That spot figures to go to either Mills or Garrett Richards.

Here are lineups for Saturday night's game vs. the Baltimore Orioles, a rematch between aces Weaver and Jason Hammel:

Xavier Avery LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Chris Davis RF
Adam Jones CF
Jim Thome DH
Matt Wieters C
Wilson Betemit 3B
Joe Mahoney 1B
Robert Andino 2B

Mike Trout CF
Torii Hunter RF
Albert Pujols DH
Kendrys Morales 1B
Mark Trumbo LF
Alberto Callaspo 3B
Howie Kendrick 2B
Erick Aybar SS
Bobby Wilson C