NEW YORK — There was one bright spot for the
The back of the rotation has been a black hole for most of the season, with
Blanton's struggles got him demoted to the bullpen in late July, and Hanson, who missed five weeks over April and May on baseball's bereavement and restricted lists, was demoted to triple-A Salt Lake after Monday night's game.
But Richards, who moved from the bullpen to the rotation in late July, is 1-1 with a 2.42 earned-run average in four starts against Oakland, Toronto, Texas and New York.
Under the bright lights of
Of his 101 pitches, 68 were strikes, and many of his fastballs hit 96 mph. Twice, he got
“His ability to throw strikes is all it is,” catcher
Richards, 25, has above-average stuff and a nice four-pitch repertoire, but he has bounced back and forth between the rotation and bullpen for two years, never pitching well enough to hold a starting spot for long. Can extended success be a matter of confidence and experience?
"It's a maturation process," Iannetta said. "He's getting used to his role in the big leagues, ironing out his mechanics. He's done a lot of work to get to this point, and hopefully it continues. If he remains this consistent, he'll be very good."
With Hanson sent to Salt Lake, the Angels will go with a rotation of
“Hopefully, he’s maturing,” Manager