Ervin Santana, whose turn in the rotation was supposed to be Tuesday, will now pitch Saturday at Texas on seven days’ rest. C.J. Wilson will start Wednesday against Seattle and Dan Haren, originally in line to start at Texas, now will work the series finale against Seattle on Thursday.
Manager Mike Scioscia said he weighed numerous factors in setting the rotation the way he did as the Angels continue to fight for one of the wild-card berths in the American League playoffs.
“I think there’s a lot of things that we looked at,” Scioscia said. “Dan has been throwing the ball well, especially against Seattle, he has. Giving Erv a little bit of a longer break right now also helps if we need him for the last series in some bullpen role. He could be available.”
Haren is 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA against Seattle this season and pitched a shutout with 14 strikeouts against the Mariners the last time he faced them on May 24. Santana, on the other hand, is 1-1 with a 6.65 ERA against the Mariners, so Scioscia is clearly playing the matchups as the Angels try to close the two-game gap between the Angels and the Oakland A’s in the wild-card race.
“There are a lot of things we’ve sliced up here the last 10 days to try and look at the rotation,” Scioscia said. “Those guys are pitching well and we’re going to need them.”
With the rotation set the way it is now, Jered Weaver and Greinke, the Angels' top two pitchers of late, will pitch the weekend series at Texas. It also puts Weaver in line to start the season finale at Seattle -- a game that could hold playoff ramifications -- then Greinke could pitch a one-game playoff on three days’ rest if necessary or the Oct. 5 wild-card game on regular rest.
“I don’t know if you’re going to rule out anything when you get to the situation that we’re in,” Scioscia said. “You have to balance your enthusiasm with trying to get your best arms out there with a little discretion on how many innings guys have under them and how they are feeling.”