MLB Insider: Angels have tough task ahead without injured Richards

  • Updated: August 25, 2014 - 6:26 AM

But the team has a potent lineup that pushed it to the top of the AL West.

Rookie righthander Matt Shoemaker will be one of the Angels starting pitchers asked to pick up the load after Garrett Richards suffered a season-ending leg injury.

Photo: Charles Krupa • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Matt Shoemaker was brilliant Thursday for the Los Angeles Angels, tossing 6⅔ innings of no-hit ball. It came at a time when his franchise was reeling after losing powerful righthander Garrett Richards for the rest of the season because of a torn left patella tendon.

It’s too much to ask Shoemaker and other Angels starters to perform like that the rest of the way, but in order for them to absorb the loss of one of the best pitchers in the game this season, the entire rotation might have to raise its game a little.

“You might not be able to replace that,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia told reporters, “but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to be able to reach our goal as a cumulative pitching staff.”

Can the other team in Los Angeles hold off Oakland and win the American League West? Of course it can. The Angels already are one of nice surprises of the season, remaining in contention and, on Monday, moving into first place in the division for the first time since May 15, 2011. Not having Richards to cause matchup problems in the postseason will be the biggest loss, but Richards is not the reason why the Angels have been a force.

Offensively, they get plenty of thrust from one the best all-around players in the game in Mike Trout. They aren’t getting the offensive firepower they sought when adding Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton in recent years, but it’s still a productive offense that entered the weekend second in the league in runs scored and third in on base-plus-slugging percentage. Outfielder Kole Calhoun has formed a nice partnership with Trout at the top of the Angels order. The Angels on Thursday dealt for second baseman Gordon Beckham from the White Sox to help against lefthanded pitching.

In addition to Richards, the Angels also are suffering from the loss of rookie Tyler Skaggs, who is out for a year because of elbow surgery. But Shoemaker, C.J. Wilson and Jared Weaver already are double-digit winners this season, with Weaver and Wilson having postseason experience. They have only used six starters all season (the Twins have used 12) but that might have to change.

The Angels called up lefthander Wade LeBlanc, who has started 68 games in his career, to replace Richards on the roster. They also have righthander Chris Volstad (123 MLB starts) and the very veteran righthander Randy Wolf (372) on simmer in the minors. General Manager Jerry Dipoto could explore adding a starting pitcher before the Aug. 31 deadline, and owner Arte Moreno will likely OK any salary addition. But there might not be a lot out there.

“Between now and Sept. 1, we’ll be as open as we can be,” Dipoto said. “But we’re realistic about what may be out there.”

That’s OK, the Angels have proved that they are a complete team that is headed to the postseason anyway. Just keep Trout healthy.

Central Intelligence

The offensive MVP for the Tigers this year has not been Miguel Cabrera. It’s Victor Martinez, who leads the team in home runs and RBI and whose .391 on-base percentage entering Saturday was the best of any regular.

His presence keeps teams from pitching around Cabrera. First-year manager Brad Ausmus said of Martinez: “The focus is unparalleled. His work ethic, the passion which he goes about the art of hitting, I didn’t know anything about. I haven’t seen another player that can match him.”

• • •

Cleveland entered Saturday five games back of a wild-card spot. The Indians don’t look like they have enough to make a late charge, but they are not giving up. Especially manager Terry Francona, who will manage his way to three-hour games the rest of the season.

Francona used 13 relievers in the three-game series against the Twins, matching up right-for-right and left-for-left. He really doesn’t have a rotation of pitchers known for going deep into games.

• • •

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Kansas City - J. Guthrie 7:07 PM
San Francisco - T. Hudson
San Diego 21 FINAL
Denver 35
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Dallas 6:00 PM
Orlando
New York 6:30 PM
Toronto
San Antonio 7:00 PM
Houston
Miami 7:00 PM
Memphis
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Chicago
Phoenix 8:00 PM
Utah
Sacramento 9:00 PM
LA Lakers
Denver 9:30 PM
Golden State
Portland 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Dallas 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Tampa Bay 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
Vancouver 8:00 PM
Colorado
Carolina 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Columbus 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Houston 7:00 PM
Chicago
Montreal 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who wins and loses in football this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close