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Angels Starting Pitchers For The Final 9 Games

Who needs work and who needs rest?

...send him in...
...send him in...
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels have nine games left in the 2014 season. They hold a 2.5 game lead over Baltimore for best record in the AL. The team with the best record will face the Wild Card Champion in the ALDS while the team with the the second-best record will face the winner of the AL Central in the ALDS.

Do you want to face the Detroit Tigers in a five game series or the Kansas City Royals? One might be the WC Champ and the other will wear the Central crown. So do we bother forcing our starters to grind it deep into games? Or are the final nine games in the next ten days just a way for them to get in their work in preparation - or audition - for the post season? If Baltimore is threatening, is it that big a deal to push our starters or should we keep them focused and hungry with "must-win" situations that are not as pressing as making the playoffs in the first place?

Here are the scheduled pitchers for the rest of the season based on what Mike Scioscia has told the media:

VS. TEX
Friday 9-19: Hector Santiago
Saturday 9-20: Jered Weaver
Sunday 9-21: Cory Rasmus + Bullpen

@OAK
Monday  9-22: C.J. Wilson
Tuesday 9-23: Wade LeBlanc
Wednesday 9-24: Santiago

Thursday 9-25: Off Day

@SEA
Friday 9-26: Weaver
Saturday 9-27: C.J.
Sunday 9-28: ?????

SOME THOUGHTS

  • The final game of the season could be a LeBlanc start. It could be a Rasmus start. Either of those two could relieve mid-game. Santiago could pitch out of the pen on three days rest, especially considering that if he were to start a game in the playoffs it would come no sooner than Sunday, October 5.
  • It would appear that Matt Shoemaker's next start will be Game Three of the ALDS on Sunday, October 5 on the road.
  • The uncertainty surrounding Shoebacca's oblique strain leaves the door open for a larger role for LeBlanc, especially after his good performance against the Mariners Thursday night. He went 5.1 innings, allowing no runs on only three hits.
  • If we need a Bullpen Committee game in the postseason, seeing Leblanc/Rasmus cobble together six innings is within the realm of possibilities.
  • Joe Thatcher relieving in the playoffs is becoming a dicey proposition - he did not look good tonight. LeBlanc could be our lefty out of the pen in October.

What do you think? How does all this make you feel?