Angels looking for answers

Updated: April 13, 2012, 6:58 PM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

NEW YORK -- The Los Angeles Angels aren't waiting long to look for answers to a sluggish start given the unprecedented expectations they're playing under.

General manager Jerry Dipoto said he is "looking under every rock," for relief help that can help shore up a bullpen that already has blown two games and contributed to a 2-5 start. Hopes were at sky-high levels in Anaheim after the Angels signed Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson for a combined $318 million and had a strong spring in Arizona.

Thus far, they've disappointed in virtually every phase, dropping a pair of series to small-market teams Kansas City and Minnesota and getting shut out in the New York Yankees' home opener 5-0.

The most troubling aspect thus far to manager Mike Scioscia has been the disappointing performance of a rotation comprised of Cy Young runner-up Jered Weaver and stalwarts Dan Haren, Wilson and Ervin Santana. Those four starters combined are 2-3 with a 5.02 ERA.

Offensive chemistry also has been an issue. Pujols is batting .222 with two RBIs and cleanup hitter Kendrys Morales -- whose return from a two-year layoff because of a broken left ankle helped fuel those hopes -- has one hit in his last 18 at-bats and has no RBIs.

Scioscia said the scrutiny shouldn't be on Pujols' slow start alone, though much of it has been.

"This isn't about Albert," Scioscia said. "This is about our team doing some things better on the mound and playing a little more fundamentally sound baseball in some areas. Albert's going to be there, but we have to be more than Albert and we are."

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.