The Angels will use a three-man rotation of Jered Weaver, Matt Shoemaker and C.J. Wilson in the American League division series against the Kansas City Royals, Manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday. That means Game 1 starter Jered Weaver will pitch Game 4, if necessary, on three days' rest.
The right-hander has started on short rest twice in his nine-year career, both times in 2011, giving up seven runs in six innings against the Texas Rangers on Aug. 28 and two runs in six innings against the Baltimore Orioles on Sept. 18.
Pitching coach Mike Butcher "feels really good about how Weaver was throwing in his bullpens between starts, how he was bouncing back, and he feels he's ready for it," Scioscia said before Wednesday's workout. "Jered is 100% behind it and feels he'll be effective."
Shoemaker, who will start Game 2 on Friday night, has not pitched since Sept. 15, when he suffered a mild left rib-cage strain. But after completing bullpen workouts in Seattle on Sunday and Anaheim on Tuesday, he declared himself fit.
"We're expecting Matt to be fine and pitch as deep into the game as he can," Scioscia said. "Depending on how Matt pitches, we'd like him to start Game 5."
Scioscia said Josh Hamilton, who has missed all but one game since Sept. 5 because of right rib-cage and chest injuries, will start in left field and bat seventh Thursday night.
Expectations of Hamilton won't be too high, "but it wouldn't surprise me if after a couple at-bats you see him attack the ball the way he can," Scioscia said. "Hopefully we're going to see that."
Starting opposite Weaver in Game 1 will be Royals left-hander Jason Vargas, who pitched for the Angels in 2013 and was a teammate of Weaver on the 2004 Long Beach State club that fell just short of the College World Series.
The two have remained good friends since college, and Weaver said he plans to go on a vacation with Vargas this off-season.
"It's pretty funny how it's come full circle, how we're here battling against each other in the postseason," Weaver said. "But I'm facing the Royals, and he's facing the Angels, so we'll keep it at that."
Royals Manager Ned Yost on his controversial decision to pull starter James Shields in the sixth inning of Tuesday night's wild-card game in favor of Yordano Ventura, who gave up a three-run homer to Brandon Moss:
"If he throws a 94-mph two-seamer and [Moss] rolls over it, I look like a genius, and if he hits a home run, I look like a dope. Well, I was a dope for a little while. Just because it didn't work, doesn't mean it wasn't the right move and I wouldn't do it again."
C.J. Cron, who will start at designated hitter in Game 1, has two homers in three career at-bats against Vargas. … The Angels will use a 12-man pitching staff, with nine relievers, and they'll have a four-man bench of catcher Hank Conger, infielder Gordon Beckham, outfielder Collin Cowgill and most likely first baseman-outfielder Efren Navarro.