Wade LeBlanc will get the first crack at replacing the injured Garrett Richards in the Angels rotation. The veteran left-hander was recalled from triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday and will be available out of the bullpen for Thursday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox.
LeBlanc, 30, who was 10-3 with a 4.00 earned-run average in 21 starts at Salt Lake, is expected to take Richards’ rotation spot and start against the Miami Marlins on Monday night in Anaheim.
The Angels, who needed 7 1/3 innings from their bullpen in Wednesday night’s 8-3 win over the Red Sox, also recalled right-hander Cam Bedrosian to bolster the bullpen after demoting outfielder Brennan Boesch to triple-A Wednesday night.
Richards, who injured the patellar area of his left knee covering first base in the second inning Wednesday night, was undergoing an MRI test in Los Angeles on Thursday.
His 2014 season appears over, and there is a good chance he will need surgery to repair his patellar tendon, a procedure that requires a three-to-six-month recovery.
LeBlanc has a 20-32 record and 4.56 ERA in the big leagues and has pitched only 7 1/3 innings in the majors this season, 6 1/3 of them coming for the Angels in a May 30 game against Oakland. His other inning came for the New York Yankees.
LeBlanc has been Salt Lake’s best starting pitcher in recent weeks, with a 5-1 record and 2.89 ERA over his last nine games.