Angels pitcher Joe Blanton is a starting pitcher no more. He is being demoted to the bullpen in favor of Garrett Richards immediately. Richards will start on Saturday in Oakland against the reigning AL West champs.
Despite low expectations as the opening day #5 starter, Blanton has still been a big disappointment. In twenty games started (116 IP) he has a 5.56 ERA with a 1.59 WHIP. Of 532 Batters Faced he has allowed 157 hits, 24 of which have been home runs. The hits and homers allowed lead the American League, as does the 73 earned runs he has allowed.
Hey look, he is a lead leader!
He is being paid $6.5 Million this season and $7.5 million next season with an $8 million 2015 club option that is a $1 million buyout... anyone taking odds on the Angels picking up that option?
Richards does not have numbers that inspire confidence for anything but a fifth starter but with Blanton's terrible accomplishments, it is time to season a cost controlled kid and see what he can become. While this move looks like it is a hopeful salvaging of the 2013 season, it is really the beginning of the downsizing, prep and planning for 2014.
While it may not hint at massive trade deadline sellings to come, it is a dose of realism for the team. Actions speak louder than Mike Scioscia's one day at a time musings. Look for Blanton to be the longman in blowouts. Oh hey, he might pitch in Saturday's game after all!!!