Scioscia reiterates confidence in Santana

Scioscia reiterates confidence in Santana

ANAHEIM -- Garrett Richards was dominant in his first Major League start of 2012 on Tuesday, and Ervin Santana has had a rough start to the season. But Angels manager Mike Scioscia said thoughts of putting Santana in the bullpen and leaving Richards in the rotation when Jered Weaver returns from the disabled list are premature.

"We're not contemplating anything like that," Scioscia said prior to Wednesday's series finale against the Mariners. "It's great to have that depth in the rotation, it's great to see what Garrett did. Ervin is a guy that we're counting very heavily on and have a lot of confidence that he's going to pitch more to his ability than what we saw, maybe, the last couple of starts. That's where we're at right now. Your rotation certainly evolves at certain points in the season, but right now we're not contemplating anything but getting Ervin back on track and hopefully Garrett contributing when he's getting the ball."

Richards, who came into the season as the No. 2-ranked prospect in the Angels' farm system, pitched seven innings of one-run ball on Tuesday, striking out eight, walking two and scattering four hits. Santana, meanwhile, leads the Majors in homers allowed (16), is tied for the lead in losses (seven), sports a 5.33 ERA and has walked 14 batters over his last 14 2/3 innings.

Richards may get a couple more turns in the rotation before the return of Weaver, who's nursing a lower back strain and is probably a little less than a week from getting on a mound again. Richards would need to stay stretched out and likely wouldn't be an option for the bullpen, either.

But Scioscia isn't thinking that far ahead just yet.

"These things are all things that are going to be addressed at the right time," he said. "Right now, we're far from having to contemplate anything like that."