The short-term question: Does he make his next scheduled start? On the day after Blanton failed to complete six innings for the fourth consecutive start, Manager
"Joe has put every effort into trying to be the pitcher he can be," Scioscia said Tuesday. "Right now, it's very clear he is struggling with some of the basic things he needs to do to be that pitcher."
Blanton, 32, is 2-13 with a 5.66 earned-run average. He leads the major leagues in losses. No major league pitcher had given up more hits, runs or home runs.
Blanton has given up home runs in 10 consecutive starts, tying the franchise record shared by Don Sutton, Jarrod Washburn and Dan Haren.
The long-term question: Can the Angels count on Blanton next season? They have guaranteed him $7.5 million, but can they really go into
General Manager Jerry Dipoto declined to address the question directly.
"We're constantly evolving in how we look at things and what we do," Dipoto said. "Joe is having a very difficult season, a difficult three-week stretch. There have been times he's pitched effectively and it hasn't shown in the won-loss column. There have been times where he hasn't pitched effectively, like now. We're trying to get through an extended down period.
"How we do that … those are discussions we have on every player, every position, how we can improve."
Outfielder Josh Hamilton said he expects to sit out "a couple days" for treatment of a stiff right ankle.
Hamilton said he was not concerned about the possibility of a serious injury.
"Usually, you know when something is wrong," he said. "I don't have any inkling it is."
Hamilton, 32, was a late scratch from Monday's lineup because of the ankle stiffness.
"It's just weird," he said. "I guess I'm getting older."
He said the ankle first stiffened on him when he awoke Monday morning. With no apparent trigger for the injury, Hamilton explained how it happened this way: "I woke up."
Albert Pujols hit the 492nd home run of his career. His next home run will tie him with Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff for 26th on the all-time list. …