Santana to start vs. Indians

Santana to start vs. Indians

DETROIT -- Bartolo Colon will start Wednesday in Cleveland on short rest and Ervin Santana will be called up to start Tuesday's game against the Indians.

The Angels reached the decision after Sunday's 9-3 win over the Tigers to keep reliever Kevin Gregg in the bullpen and hand the ball over to their top right-handed prospect, who is 5-1 with a 2.31 ERA in seven starts at Double-A Arkansas this season. Kelvim Escobar was scheduled to start Tuesday, but he is on the disabled list with bone chips in his right elbow.

"I believe guys should make each stop along the way," general manager Bill Stoneman said of Santana leapfrogging Triple-A. "But sometimes circumstances dictate what happens."

With Escobar already on the DL, the Angels were dealt an extra tier of decision making when Colon's start at Comerica Park on Friday was washed out by thunderstorms. Colon started the front end of a doubleheader Saturday and tossed 88 pitches for a no-decision.

Adding further complications was the fact Colon battled flu symptoms over five innings, but the right-hander felt much better Sunday morning, which caused manager Mike Scioscia to lean more heavily in Colon starting Wednesday against the Indians on three days' rest.

Colon is 4-3 with a 2.91 ERA this season and has allowed four earned runs over his last 21 1/3 innings.

Santana has risen steadily through the organization since being signed as a free agent in 2000. The 22-year-old was 2-1 in eight starts with Arkansas last season and went 10-2 while leading the California League with a 2.53 ERA and a .212 opponents' batting average at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2003.

"What we've seen is he has very good stuff and he's been very consistent this season and that earned him a start Tuesday," Stoneman said. The Angels also considered calling up Triple-A right-hander Chris Bootcheck.

Santana at 6-foot-2 and listed at 160 pounds is a power right-hander with a good fastball and a good slider. Along with right-hander Steven Shell and left-hander Joe Saunders, Santana represents a strong group of pitching prospects that are nearing the Majors.

With Escobar out at least two starts, Santana can pitch his way into the rotation, at least on an interim basis.

"We'll see how he does on Tuesday and we'll go from there," Stoneman said. "This is baseball, you don't decide what you're going to do two weeks from now; you make adjustments. We'll see where it goes."

The Angels did not announce a corresponding move to make room for Santana on the 25-man roster.

Mike Scarr is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.