As the Angels begin a critical four-game series against American League West rival Oakland in Angel Stadium on Thursday night, they still hadn’t decided on a starting pitcher for Saturday night’s game against the Athletics.
“We have a couple of ways we can go,” Manager Mike Scioscia said, “but we’re not going to commit to anything right now.”
Asked if the options he is considering are limited to pitchers who are currently in the organization, Scioscia said, “Right now, yes.”
The two top minor league candidates are veteran left-hander Randy Wolf, who is 5-2 with a 4.73 earned-run average in 12 starts for triple-A Salt Lake, and young left-hander Michael Roth, who is 11-7 with a 2.62 ERA in 22 starts for double-A Arkansas.
Scioscia said reliever Cory Rasmus, who threw a season-high 51 pitches in a 2 2/3-inning stint against Miami on Monday night, could also start Saturday night.
Rasmus, 26, was a starter for his first five minor league seasons, but after a pair of shoulder injuries, one that forced him to miss the entire 2007 season, he was moved to the bullpen in 2012.
In a best-case scenario, Rasmus would go four innings or so. The Angels could also use left-hander Hector Santiago, who would normally throw between starts Saturday, for two innings to bridge the gap between Rasmus and the rest of their deep bullpen.
“I’ve never had a problem going multiple innings — I actually enjoy it,” said Rasmus, who is 3-1 with a 2.68 ERA in 24 appearances this season. “At the end of the day, it’s all about getting outs.
“Whether it’s one inning, one batter, four or five innings, it doesn’t make any difference to me. I’m just trying to get outs and help the team. I’m pretty competitive. I would go out there, give it my all and see how long I last.”
Left-hander Wade LeBlanc got the first crack at filling the injured Garrett Richards’ rotation spot but gave up six runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings of Monday night’s 7-1 loss to Miami. He was designated for assignment Tuesday, cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday.