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Angels send struggling starting pitcher Julio Teheran to the bullpen

Angels starting pitcher Julio Teheran throws against the Seattle Mariners.
Angels starting pitcher Julio Teheran throws against the Seattle Mariners on Aug. 5 in Seattle.
(Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

Pitcher Julio Teheran will not start for the Angels for the time being.

Manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday the veteran right-hander, who will earn a prorated portion of the one-year, $9-million contract he signed in December, will pitch out of the bullpen until he is “rocking and rolling” enough to return to the rotation.

“Right now the most important thing is that we get him back throwing like he’s capable,” Maddon said.

Teheran, delayed in the team’s July training camp because of a bout with COVID-19, has a 12.38 ERA (11 earned runs in eight innings) in three starts. He did not pitch beyond the fourth inning in any outing.

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“He’s the absolute poster child for being ill and getting started late,” Maddon said, “and having to be thrust into the situation where guys have had a little bit more time to get ready. That’s exactly what I’m seeing.”

Maddon didn’t announce who will start Thursday in Teheran’s place. One possibility is right-hander Matt Andriese, who threw 5⅔ innings in relief of Shohei Ohtani on July 26 and 9⅓ innings in four games since. He has a 7.20 ERA and has given up a .276 batting average.

Left-hander Jose Suarez is on the taxi squad for the road trip and is also an option to replace Teheran. Suarez got a late start to training camp for reasons undisclosed by the team but has been working out for several weeks. The 22-year-old has thrown at least 75 pitches — the equivalent of five innings in a smooth start — for the Angels at the team’s alternate site.

Suarez went 2-6 with a 7.11 ERA as a rookie in 2019.

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“Under the circumstances [of a full season], you just work this thing entirely differently,” Maddon said. “But right now, under the circumstances [of a 60-game season], you’re almost forced to try something different.”


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