Three weeks ago, the Angels signed David Huff to fill out their triple-A rotation. The 31-year-old left-hander, a UCLA product, had just opted out of a minor league deal with Kansas City to pursue a better opportunity.
Huff was a reliever for the Royals' triple-A team, and with the Angels' affiliate he would start.
Now he will start in the majors, Tuesday night in New York. A journeyman of 388 major league innings for four teams, Huff found his greatest success as a Yankee. In two separate stints with the organization, he recorded a 3.18 earned-run average in 73 2/3 innings. Otherwise, his career ERA is 5.61.
Huff made one start for the Dodgers last year. He did not finish five innings in any of his three starts for Salt Lake, but struck out 11 with four walks. A scout who witnessed his last start said Huff routinely hit 92 and 93 mph with his fastball.
"He's throwing the ball well," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. "He has experience."
The Angels could have chosen right-hander Kyle Kendrick, a more journeyed journeyman, or right-hander Tim Lincecum, who is scheduled to start Tuesday for Salt Lake. But they decided to heed the initial plan regarding Lincecum. The hand Huff throws with may have helped his case.
The Yankees have won seven times in 20 tries against left-handed starters this season. Their team .653 on-base-plus-slugging percentage against left-handers is the American League's worst by a wide margin.
On Monday, the Angels were again without the services of setup man Joe Smith, whom they may soon place on the disabled list because of a strained hamstring. He could be the corresponding move for Huff's recall Tuesday. Angels closer Huston Street is sick but said he is available to pitch. … Albert Pujols started as the team's designated hitter Monday despite the bruised left ankle he sustained in securing the Angels' Sunday victory in Pittsburgh. … Left-hander Tyler Skaggs is scheduled to throw five innings in an extended spring-training game Wednesday in Arizona. He is expected to start for triple-A Salt Lake the following Monday.