Angels to turn back to Santana?

Ervin Santana

The Angels were supposed to have a surplus of starting pitching as the trade deadline approached. But that surplus has been used up, and the Angels find themselves in the same position as most teams in the majors -- searching to fill out their starting five.

"It's an issue. It's what you face every day in baseball," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "You have concerns about your pitching no matter how deep you are. If you have eight arms in your organization, you want nine. If you're 11 arms deep in your organization, you want 12. If you're three arms deep in your organization, you're desperately looking for Nos. 4 and 5.

"Our depth has been tested, but we're at a point where we feel we're going to have the rotation that we need, and combined with the back end of our bullpen, we're going to hold the lead and win the games that we play well. That's the only way to look at it really."

The demotion of Ervin Santana to the minors and the move of Bartolo Colon to the disabled list with a sore elbow has the Angels stretched thin. Left-hander Joe Saunders has already been promoted from Class AAA to replace Santana in the rotation, and Scioscia admitted there are no more major league-ready reinforcements in Class AAA. An off day Thursday will allow the Angels to move right-hander Kelvim Escobar up in the rotation to start on his normal four days' rest Sunday. Right-hander John Lackey could do the same and pitch Monday. But Tuesday, the Angels will probably have to turn to right-hander Dustin Moseley for a spot start.

Moseley made two starts in April when both Colon and Jered Weaver opened the season on the DL. Moseley went 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA, earning a role in the bullpen for the rest of the season.

Long term, Santana probably will be recalled from Class AAA to replace Colon in the starting rotation. For now, Santana is scheduled to make his second start in Class AAA on Friday. He would not be rested to make the start Tuesday in Seattle but could rejoin the Angels before that spot comes up in the rotation again (Aug. 5 in Oakland).

"We'll see where things go," Scioscia said. "We're not going to rule anything out yet but he's making progress down there and we don't want to slow that down."

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