ANAHEIM -- Following a 2-1 loss to the Athletics in 10 innings on Wednesday, the Angels made two moves on their pitching staff.
Activated from the 15-day disabled list were starter Joel Pineiro and reliever Scott Downs. Veteran reliever Jason Bulger was designated for assignment, and Matt Palmer was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake.
Pineiro is set to make his first start of the season on Saturday against the Rays in St. Petersburg. Downs will add another left-handed presence to a bullpen that has been one of the Angels' strengths.
"It's a first step to trying to get to where we want to be, an important first step," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Hopefully, in a couple of weeks when Joel gets settled, we're going to look at our staff as being as sound as we thought it would be."
The Angels have 10 days to make a deal for Bulger, waive him or release him. The 32-year-old right-hander figures to have appeal on the market, carrying a 0.96 ERA in five appearances this season. He has allowed six hits and 10 walks while striking out seven hitters in 9 1/3 innings.
Bulger was one of the club's most durable relievers in 2009, going 6-1 with a 3.56 ERA in 64 appearances. He endured shoulder issues last season and was limited to 25 appearances, going 0-0 with a 4.88 ERA.
Palmer is 1-1 with a 5.74 ERA in three starts for the Angels, going 15 2/3 innings. Like Bulger, Palmer was a major contributor in 2009 with his 11-2 record and 3.93 ERA in 40 appearances, but injuries limited him to 14 games and a 1-2 record and 4.54 ERA last season.
During a rehab outing for advanced Class A Inland Empire on Monday, Pineiro showed he was fully recovered from a back injury suffered on March 20 while throwing in a Spring Training camp game. Pineiro said he's "ready to go" and hopes to get deep in the game in his first outing against the Rays.
Downs has made two appearances for the Angels and has not yielded a run. He began the season on the DL with a fractured big left toe and then had a gastrointestinal virus that put him back on the DL.