Fernando Valenzuela, who had a 12.15 earned-run average in two starts with the Angels, is scheduled to start for triple-A Edmonton Monday--coincidentally the deadline under his contract for the Angels to promote him to the majors or give him his release if he requests it.
The former Dodger has struggled in his second stint in the minor leagues, and the temptation to give him another shot in the majors is negligible.
"It's a question of what's better than what you've got?" said Dan O'Brien, senior vice president for baseball operations.
It isn't certain whether Valenzuela will make the scheduled start, but O'Brien said the decision is Valenzuela's. His contract allows him to continue to pitch with Edmonton at his request.
O'Brien said Valenzuela's performance will determine any decision by the club.
"I'd rather let him tell us what we should do by what he does on the field," he said.
O'Brien, president of the Seattle Mariners from 1979-83, joined the Angels in Seattle after the Angels won three of four from first-place Minnesota.
"I'm obviously pleased," he said. "We played well in Minnesota. I wish we'd play that well at home."
The Angels were 1-8 during their previous home stand.
Despite their success against the Twins, the Angels have won only 12 of 38 since being in first place for one day (July 3).
O'Brien continued to address Manager Doug Rader's status as "a non-issue," despite Executive Vice President Jackie Autry's acknowledgment that the team's slide has put Rader's job under scrutiny.
O'Brien also clarified his definition of the term "non-issue."
"To me something becomes an issue when it happens," he said.
Infielder Bobby Rose will return to the Angels today after fulfilling the 10-day minimum stay in the minors. Rose was demoted Aug. 6 to Edmonton instead of pitcher Chris Beasley, because pitcher Bryan Harvey was unavailable for two days after the death of his grandmother. Infielder Chris Cron, who flied out Thursday in his only major league at-bat, was optioned to make room for Rose. . . . Center fielder Junior Felix, on a rehabilitation assignment to Class-A Palm Springs since Aug. 5, is hitting .324 with 11 walks in 10 games. However, he is likely to spend close to the 20-day maximum in the minors because he has not played in the majors since June 19 because of a calf injury, O'Brien said. . . . Shawn Abner, acquired July 30 from San Diego in exchange for Jack Howell, has started the past five games in center.