On Thursday, the two competitors, Garrett Richards and Jerome Williams, each turned in solid Minor League outings.
Richards pitched for Triple-A Salt Lake, giving up two runs on four hits while walking none and striking out seven in seven innings. Williams, on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring to start the season, went five innings, giving up two runs on five hits while striking out four and walking two for Class A Inland Empire.
On Friday, Williams made the drive back to the coast, where he was introduced with his Angels teammates -- in what would be his first Opening Day since 2007 -- and continued to report good health.
"Everything felt really good," Williams said of his 76-pitch outing. "To me, it's just taking it day by day. Just going out there and throwing, get that one more rehab start in and let them make that next decision."
Williams and Richards will make one more rehab start on Tuesday. Then, the Angels will make their decision on their fifth starter for the April 15 game at Yankee Stadium.
The odds would seem to point in Williams' favor, since he's out of options and Richards is only 23.