Santana's spot in rotation is safe

Santana's spot in rotation is safe

ANAHEIM -- With the return of starter Jered Weaver not too far off, the way the Angels' rotation will shake out once he comes back has led to much speculation, but manager Mike Scioscia made it clear Ervin Santana's spot is not in jeopardy.

Santana, who has been in the rotation all season, had been struggling mightily before his one-hit shutout Saturday night against the D-backs. In his four starts before Saturday, however, he surrendered 23 runs in 20 1/3 innings in which he gave up six home runs and walked 15 batters.

"We were not considering taking him out of the rotation," Scioscia said. There's a lot of time left, and we need him. This is hopefully a good crossroad game for him to get back where he can be."

In place of Weaver, who has been on the disabled list since May 29 with a lower back strain, rookie Garrett Richards has been solid in replace of the Angels' ace. In two starts, Sunday's starter has given up just two runs in 12 innings (1.50 ERA) with 12 strikeouts.

It remains to be seen whether the rotation would go back to what it was before Weaver got injured or whether Richards (1-0) has earned a spot.

"We're not to that point yet," Scioscia said before the game. "We don't have to make those decisions right now."