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Angels might not keep Joe Blanton in their bullpen

The Angels plan to use six starters in Cactus League games, Manager Mike Scioscia said Thursday. That breakdown: the projected rotation of Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago, with Joe Blanton getting his innings as well.

Blanton could get a rotation spot in case of injury to one of the projected five starters, or if the Angels decide to send Skaggs or Santiago to the minor leagues. However, if the Angels do not alter their planned rotation, Blanton could be traded or released.

Scioscia, speaking generally, said the Angels were not committed to including a long reliever in the bullpen.

“You’d love to have a guy with length,” he said. “We’re looking for guys that are going to hold leads and help us win games.

“If we have really good arms that are getting guys out and don’t have much length, I don’t think that will keep them from our pen.”

Blanton, 33, lost his starting spot last season, when he went 2-14 with a 6.04 earned-run average. The Angels owe him $8.5 million -- $7.5 million in salary this year, plus $1 million for his buyout next year -- and would have to absorb a significant part of that financial obligation in order to trade him.


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